More than a dozen arson counts related to nine separate fires were filed Friday against a Temecula man accused of setting the 11,500-acre Cranston Fire currently burning in the forest area between Hemet and Mountain Center, and has led to the evacuations of thousands of residents.

Brandon McGlover, 32, who faces a potential life sentence if convicted, is accused of setting several fires, including the massive forest fire that broke out around noon Wednesday in the San Bernardino National Forest. He’s accused of setting all nine fires on Wednesday in the Idyllwild, Anza and Sage areas, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

McGlover was arrested near State Street and Newport Road in Hemet shortly after the fire broke out.

He’s charged with 15 felony counts, including one count of aggravated arson, five counts of arson of an inhabited structure related to five homes destroyed in the Cranston blaze, and nine counts of arson of forest or wildland. McGlover, who’s being held on $1 million bail, is slated to appear in a Murrieta courtroom Friday afternoon.

The Cranston Fire has held at 3 percent containment through Friday morning and has resulted in about 6,000 residents evacuated and almost 5,000 structures threatened, in addition to the five homes destroyed. Nearly 1,400 fire personnel are taking part in the firefight, with two firefighters sustaining unspecified injuries.

Mountain Center, Idyllwild, Hurkey Creek, San Jacinto Mountain State Park, Fern Valley, Pine Cover, Cedar Glen and Garner Valley are under mandatory evacuation orders.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.