Man Is Arrested on Suspicion of Causing Santa Clarita Brush Fire

A Lancaster man was arrested after allegedly igniting the brush fire that burned through 20 acres in Santa Clarita Thursday, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Around 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the Towsley Fire broke out in the 23900 block of The Old Road in the Newhall community of the Santa Clarita Valley. The 20-year-old suspect, Zachary Garcia, was arrested after witnesses at a nearby paintball park said they saw him setting off a smoke canister during paintball games, police said.

From there, the canister set off a brush fire that became nearly uncontrollable. At one point, 15 structures along The Old Road were threatened by the fire, and at least one building was burned, officials said.

Garcia was booked at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and is being charged with recklessly causing an accidental fire.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Arson Explosives Detail at 323-881-7500.