Arson could be to blame in Camp Pendleton brush fire - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Arson could be to blame in Camp Pendleton brush fire

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Photo Credit: News 8 Viewer Susan Tabbutt Photo Credit: News 8 Viewer Susan Tabbutt

CAMP PENDLETON (NEWS 8/CNS) - A parolee taken into custody Wednesday is under investigation for possibly sparking a wildfire that scorched 85 open acres at the Oceanside- Camp Pendleton border, a battalion chief said.

Jose Antonio Torres Jr., 35, was booked into the county jail in Vista early this morning on suspicion of violating the terms of his conditional release from prison.

Torres is suspected of igniting the vegetation blaze near Marine Memorial Golf Course about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday. It was not immediately clear if investigators suspect him of doing so intentionally or accidentally.

"The investigation into the fire cause will continue while he is in custody," said Pete Lawrence, a battalion chief with the Oceanside Fire Department.

The wildfire blackened dozens of open acres in the southern reaches of Camp Pendleton Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze near Marine Memorial Golf Course was reported about 1:15 p.m., according to a dispatcher with North County Dispatch. Firefighters with Cal Fire and other area agencies aided military crews in battling the flames by ground and air.

Authorities closed Douglas Drive between North River Road and Vandegrift Boulevard in northern Oceanside as a precaution while firefighters worked to corral the blaze.

It took ground and aircraft crews about four hours to halt the spread of blaze, which blackened 78 acres in Oceanside and seven on the grounds of Camp 
Pendleton.

No structural damage or injuries were reported.

The smoldering burn area east of Interstate 5 and north of state Route 76 was expected to be fully contained this evening, Lawrence said.

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