Police Suspect Arson in Arastradero Preserve Fire

A cyclist reported seeing a suspicious person near the trail where one of five small fires were started.


Detectives are investigating the origins of a fire that charred four acres of the Enid W. Pearson-Arastradero Preserve Wednesday afternoon.  They suspect the fire was set intentionally.

Palo Alto firefighters responded to the blaze, near 1529 Arastradero Road, at about 4 p.m. Wednesday, along with CalFire, the Santa Clara County Fire Department and the Woodside Fire Protection District. They spent about an hour getting the flames under control.

A cyclist who was riding by reported that he saw a suspicious person in the area near the trail where the fire started about 20 minutes before it ignited.

With the description he provided and the information gained from fire departments, Palo Alto Police determined that five small fires had been set on purpose. 

Cal Fire, the Santa Clara County Fire Department and the Woodside Fire Protection District all helped Palo Alto firefighters battle the blaze. No structures burned and no injuries were reported.

All the hiking trails in the Arastradero Preserve have been reopened.

Detectives are making a sketch of the suspect and are asking anyone with information about the incident to call the police at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org.

—Bay City News Service

Eric Nelson August 10, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Glad they were able to take care of this so quickly... on of my favorite (and my dog's favorite) places to hike.


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