Valley News -

By Jeff Pack 

Temecula man arrested in connection with devastating wildfires

 

Last updated 7/26/2018 at 7:31am

Timothy Franzese‎ / Public Safety Incidents

Members of the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force arrest Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula, for suspicion of setting multiple fires in southwest Riverside County.

CaFire law enforcement tonight announced the arrest of a Temecula man that witnesses identified as being in the area "near the origin" of the massive fire called the Cranston Fire that has burned more than 4,700 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest today.

Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula, is suspected of setting multiple fires in southwest Riverside County, including the one that became the Cranston Fire, authorities said.

CHP Officer Darren Meyer said a motorist reported spotting a light-colored sedan matching the description provided by witnesses around 12:30 p.m. near Newport Road and State Street in Hemet. He was arrested by CalFire law enforcement officers the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force.

McGlover was booked into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of five counts of arson to wildland. Additional allegations are possible as the investigation continues, according to CalFire.

Timothy Franzese, who is an administrator of the Facebook group, Public Safety Incidents, was driving around Hemet monitoring his scanner when he heard about the traffic stop.

"I went to the scene and I was about to leave when I noticed officers talking to someone in the car," Franzese said. "I thought he was already gone to booking, but I lucked out and shot some photos."

He posted the photos to the Facebook group page around 2 p.m. and Franzese said McGlover went quietly into custody.

Timothy Franzese‎ / Public Safety Incidents

A member of the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force searches through items found in the vehicle driven by Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula, who was arrested in connection with a series of fires that were started in Southwest Riverside County on Wednesday.

At last report, the Cranston Fire had no containment and had burned 5 structures. According to the San Bernardino National Forest Public Information office more than 600 homes are still threatened. In all, 2,174 homes and 3,200 people were evacuated. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for hundreds of residents of Idyllwild, Mountain Center along McGaugh and McCall Park roads as well as the Apple Canyon, Lake Hemet and Hurkey Creek areas and the communities of Pine Cove and Fern Valley.

The fire has also knocked out power to more than 7,700 Southern California Edison customers in the Idyllwild area, according to an SCE online outage map. Full restoration was expected at around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Authorities have also issued a smoke advisory for the region, advising that winds could bring smoke into various parts of Riverside County, including the Coachella Valley, Banning Pass, the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley, Perris Valley and Anza. The advisory will be in effect through Thursday morning.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Contact Jeff Pack at [email protected]

 

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