Irvine: Firefighters Extinguish Suspicious Freeway Vegetation Fires

02.24.2021 | 6:22 PM | IRVINE – A series of suspicious fires along the SR-261 Freeway ended with one person being arrested, Wednesday night.

The first fire was reported on the SR-261 Freeway at Walnut Avenue around 6:22 PM. That fire was located by firefighters burning vegetation on the southbound side of the SR-261 and extinguished in about an hour.

Several hours later around 10:04 PM firefighters responded to another report of fire near the SR-261 Freeway and Bryan Avenue.

Crews responding to the second incident found two fires burning vegetation on separate sides of the freeway just north of Bryan Avenue. Those fires were both extinguished in about an hour before they could threaten any structures.

Fire investigators working with Irvine police used a drone with infrared capabilities to search for any additional fires or suspects.

Around 11:35 PM the drone spotted a subject lighting a fire near the SR-261 Freeway and Irvine Boulevard, according to scanner traffic.

Law enforcement responded to the area and located the male subject who they later arrested on suspicion of arson. He was identified as 41-year-old Jose Antonio Lozano Martinez.

Anyone with information regarding the fires was urged to contact Irvine Police Department Detective Justin Russell at (949)751-7118.

Miles Madison

Miles started reporting breaking news in 2015 and has been providing high-quality news video and timely reports from the Orange County area ever since. Combining his experience as a seasoned photojournalist, radio operator and sleuth, Miles provides unrivaled multimedia news reports.