A young man and a teenage boy were in custody today for allegedly setting patches of vegetation ablaze in Escondido as emergency personnel struggled to control devastating wildfires sweeping across the San Diego area.
A witness who spotted the pair as they allegedly set a fire near South Escondido Boulevard called police about 6:30 p.m. Thursday and then extinguished the flames, police Lt. Neal Griffin said.
About an hour later, another person made an emergency call from an area near Westfield North County mall and said he was chasing two youths he saw trying to start a fire in Kit Carson Park near Interstate 15 and Bear Valley Parkway, according to Griffin.
The two suspects had similar descriptions to those from the first fire.
Officers went to that area and arrested Isaiah David Silva, 19, and an Escondido teenager whose name was withheld because he is a minor.
There was no immediate evidence linking the suspects to any of the large wildfires that have blackened about 20,000 acres and destroyed or damaged dozens of residences and businesses across the county, Griffin told reporters during a briefing at Escondido police headquarters.
Silva was booked into county jail in Vista on suspicion of a count of arson. He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Monday afternoon.
Read updates on the San Diego County Wildfires here: Friday San Diego County Firestorm Coverage.
—City News Service