Temecula man in custody for starting multiple fires in southwest Riverside County
■ By John Strangis / Contributed
Cal Fire law enforcement officers have arrested 32 year-old Brandon N. McGlover of Temecula for allegedly setting the fire in Idyllwild and others in southwest Riverside County.
One of the fires McGlover allegedly caused is the Cranston Fire, which burned on federal land in the San Jacinto Ranger District and has consumed more than 13,000 acres. Evacuation orders were lifted this week for Idyllwild and Pine Cove after thousands of residents were evacuated from there and Apple Canyon area, Garner Valley (north of Lake View Drive/Lake Hemet Market), Hurkey Creek area, Mountain Center, and Mt. San Jacinto State Park, where evacuations were in effect as of Tuesday. Five homes have been destroyed to date. The fire is now more than 80 percent contained with more than 1,200 firefighters working diligently to protect the rest and contain the fire.
The Cranston Fire is under Unified Command between the USFS San Bernardino National Forest, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department, Idyllwild Fire Protection District and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.
Cal Fire Peace Officers initially took McGlover into custody in Hemet. McGlover was then transported to Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, where he was initially booked on five counts of arson to wildland. His next court appearance will take place on Sept. 21. A judge has set his bail at $3.5 million and he is now charged with a total of 15 felony counts of arson.
The fires were apparently set in several areas of Southwest Riverside County and federal areas along State Highway 74 within the San Bernardino National Forest.
Cal Fire officers had established a description of the suspect and issued a crime bulletin to other local law enforcement agencies. Based on the alert issued, the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force was able to locate and detain McGlover last Wednesday.
The incident is still under investigation and additional information will be released as it becomes available.
Recreation area closures
The following recreation areas remained closed at press time:
Mt. San Jacinto State Park
• Desert View Trail
• Little Round Valley Campground
• Mountain Station
• Round Valley Campground
• Round Valley Trail
• San Jacinto Peak Trail
• Strawberry Junction Campground
• Tamarack Valley Campground
• Wellman’s Divide Trail
Palm Springs Tramway and the Long Valley hiking trails reopened yesterday, according to the Tramway.
In the San Bernardino National Forest San Jacinto Ranger District including the Forest Service lands within the Santa Rosa-San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, the following recreation sites are closed:
• Black Mountain Group Campground
• Boulder Basin Campground
• Cedar Springs Trail 4EI7
• Dark Canyon Campground
• Deer Springs Campground
• Deer Springs Trail to Suicide Rock 3E17 to 3E33
• Devil’s Slide Trail
• Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail 3E07
• Fern Basin Campground
• Fobes Trail 4E04
• Fuller Ridge
• Humber Park
• Hurkey Creek Campground
• Lake Fulmor Day Use Area
• Lake Hemet Picnic Area
• Little Round Valley Campground
• Marion Mountain Campground
• Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) N of State Highway 74
• San Jacinto Wilderness
• Seven Pines Trail 2E13
• Skunk Cabbage Trail 3E42
• South Ridge Trail 3E08
• Spitler Peak Trail 3E22
• Stone Creek Yellow Post Sites
• Strawberry Creek
•Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout