A 41-year-old man was charged Friday with setting several fires along the 261 Toll Road in Irvine.
Jose Antonio LozanoMartinez faces one count each of arson of an inhabited structure and vandalism, two counts of arson of property, and seven counts of arson of a structure or forest, all felonies, as well as one misdemeanor count each of resisting arrest and unlawful entry of a noncommercial dwelling.
The fires were allegedly set on Wednesday, Thursday and last Oct. 18. The alleged vandalism and resisting arrest happened on Oct. 2, according to court records.
Authorities were called at 6:22 p.m. Wednesday about a brush fire along the toll road at the Santa Ana (5) Freeway, according to Irvine police. About two hours after the Orange County Fire Authority extinguished the flames, another brush fire was reported near apartments along the toll road at Bryan Avenue, police said.
As firefighters extinguished that blaze, Irvine police used a drone to search for fire and spotted a suspect setting another blaze along the toll road near Irvine Boulevard, police said. The drone operator helped guide police and fire investigators to where the suspect was hiding, and he was arrested without incident, police said.
The defendant, who is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, is scheduled to be arraigned March 17 in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: