PALMDALE – A series of seven small fires that burned along the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway early Saturday in Palmdale and Lancaster were likely ignited by a vehicle with a mechanical failure, not arson, authorities said.
“There is no evidence of an arson,” the sheriff’s department Arson/Explosives Detail reported on Facebook at about 5:45 p.m. Saturday. “It appears the fires are consistent with being caused by a vehicle mechanical failure.”
The first fire was reported shortly after 12:30 a.m. Saturday, July 29, on the southbound side of the freeway near Avenue N, authorities said. After that, about 10 to 15 fires were reported from Avenue K to Avenue S, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett.
Witnesses reported that a vehicle was intentionally starting the fire using charcoal briquettes, California Highway Patrol reported.
The largest of the fires burned about two acres, Pickett said.
More than 70 firefighters were sent to battle the flames.
County firefighters were able to put out all the fires by 2:30 a.m., the CHP reported.
They originally reported at least 15 small fires, but the sheriff’s department said it investigated seven.
Editor’s note: Details in the story have been updated to reflect the most recent information reported by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.