A man was arrested on suspicion of setting multiple fires in southwest Riverside County on Wednesday, including one that burned homes and forced evacuations in the Idyllwild area, officials said.
Temecula resident Brandon N. McGlover, 32, is accused of sparking a series of blazes along Highway 74 in the San Bernardino National Forest, according to a news release from officials at the national monument.
He was booked on suspicion of starting at least five fires, but may be implicated in more, authorities said.
McGlover was located after Cal Fire told law enforcement to be on the lookout for a white Honda sedan believed to be tied to the fire, which covered more than 4,700 acres Wednesday evening.
The car was spotted by a Hemet police detective near the corner of Newport Road and Garnet Lane shortly after 12:15 p.m., Lt. Eric Dickson said.
McGlover was behind the wheel, and police detained him while a Cal Fire investigator responded. The state fire agency then assumed custody of the suspect, and will also lead the arson investigation.
The 32-year-old was being held at Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, officials said.
California Highway Patrol officials spoke with witnesses who reported seeing someone spark several fires near where the Cranston Fire erupted and at about the same time it broke out, about 11:50 a.m., the Press-Enterprise reported.
Those bystanders also said a white Honda was involved.
The flames spread rapidly after breaking out in the afternoon, and were threatening at least 600 homes, officials said. The blaze was 5 percent contained Wednesday night.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered for several mountain areas including Idyllwilld, Pine Cove and Fern Valley. (Find information on evacuation areas and shelter locations here)