Arson Suspect Sought as Blaze Spreads to 70 Acres in San Bernardino

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Crews use a bulldozer as they battle a brush fire in San Bernardino on July 31, 2019, in an image released by the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

Crews use a bulldozer as they battle a brush fire in San Bernardino on July 31, 2019, in an image released by the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

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Investigators are searching for a man believed to have sparked a blaze near homes in San Bernardino that grew into a brush fire on Little Mountain.

Firefighters responded shortly before 2 p.m. to flames burning in vegetation on the 900 block of West Marshall Boulevard in the Shandin Hills neighborhood, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

The fire, which at first covered a quarter acre of light fuel, eventually spread to about 70 acres. It was 70% contained, officials said.

Around 3:20 p.m., the Fire Department said it was defending structures. The agency tweeted video and a photo of a smoldering hillside near a large residence.

Firefighters were also battling the flames from multiple flanks on Little Mountain.

By 4:45 p.m., about 143 firefighters were on scene along with a water tanker, dozers and several hand crews and engines. Crews were expected to remain on scene overnight.

San Bernardino police spoke with residents in the area where the blaze originated who said a suspected arsonist fled the scene before authorities arrived.

The suspect was described as a black man in his early 20s. He had a thin build and measured about 6 feet to 6 feet, 2 inches tall, officials said.

The man was clean shaven last seen wearing a black sweater with white shorts.

Anyone with information can contact Officer Saenz at 909-384-5653, Sgt. Aranda at 909-384-5642, or the Fire Department at 909-355-8800.

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