Two Arrested in Sunday Brush Fire on Mount Wilson

A 20-year-old man and 17-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with a small brush fire Sunday on Mount Wilson north of Los Angeles.

The fire, held to less than 1 acre, began off the Mount Wilson toll fire road above Altadena. There were no reports of damage to buildings or high-voltage power line towers. 

Two individuals seen spray painting near the road were arrested, according to police. They are suspected of arson and vandalism, authorities said.

A larger fire earlier this month near Mount Wilson Observatory closed wilderness area. Firefighters were still working to fully extinguish all embers from the fire, which burned about 50 acres.

The fire, reportedon Oct. 17, led to the precautionary evacuation of the landmark observatory for a time.

Through Oct. 22, more than 6,400 fires burned 556,090 acres this year. During that same period last year, 4,596 fires burned 244,219 acres. The five-year statewide average for that period is 4,510 acres and 201,582 acres.

The worst wildfires have been in Northern California, where the death toll from several fires that tore through communities stands at 42. More than 5,700 structures have been destroyed.

The state is coming off one of its wettest winters in years, which left hillsides covered in grass and other vegetation. That grass dried out during summer and turned into tinder, providing fuel for rapidly spreading fires often pushed by strong winds.

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