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Suspected arsonist sought in LA County wildland fire that’s already burned more than 800 acres

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Los Angeles wildfire that’s already burned more than 800 acres of land and forced a nearby residential neighborhood with livestock to evacuate is believed to be arson

  • A 15-acre brush fire that started around 10pm Saturday is still burning Sunday evening
  • Flames chewed up more than 800 acres of land and is threatening a nearby residential neighborhood, which was forced to evacuate Sunday 
  • The fire is believed to be started by an arsonist who is still on the loose 
  • Flames are headed towards ‘dense, thick material there — oily plants that have died out because of the drought,’ LAFD told ABC on Sunday

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A manhunt is underway for a suspected arsonist who’s wanted for torching more 800 than acres of wildland in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles County on Sunday. 

The Los Angeles Police Department said a police helicopter crew spotted what appeared to be a person setting fires in the area on Friday night. That suspect is still on the loose Sunday evening.

What started as a 15-acre brush fire around 10pm Friday turned into an inferno by Saturday afternoon and is still raging Sunday evening. 

The Palisades wildfire in California already chewed up more than 800 acres of land

Strong winds are pushing the flames towards a multi-million dollar residential neighborhood

Strong winds are pushing the flames towards a multi-million dollar residential neighborhood

Firefighters have been fighting the wildfire since 10pm Friday and have resorted to battling the flames using helicopters

Firefighters have been fighting the wildfire since 10pm Friday and have resorted to battling the flames using helicopters

More than 500 homes in Topanga County were evacuated Sunday

More than 500 homes in Topanga County were evacuated Sunday

What started as a 15-acre brush fire on Friday grew to an 800-acre wildfire by Sunday

What started as a 15-acre brush fire on Friday grew to an 800-acre wildfire by Sunday

Smoke can be seen for miles above the wildfire

Smoke can be seen for miles above the wildfire

The Pacific Palisades area sky is light up red Saturday night as the fire rages

The Pacific Palisades area sky is light up red Saturday night as the fire rages

A firefighter looks at the flames from the Palisades fire cresting the hills in the distance in Topanga State Park, North West of Los Angeles on Saturday

A firefighter looks at the flames from the Palisades fire cresting the hills in the distance in Topanga State Park, North West of Los Angeles on Saturday

The Los Angeles Fire Department is hoping for rain to help their fight, but the flames are headed towards dense, thick material that will fuel the fire even more

The Los Angeles Fire Department is hoping for rain to help their fight, but the flames are headed towards dense, thick material that will fuel the fire even more

The fire forced the evacuations of more than 500 multi-million dollar homes in nearby Topanga Canyon, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Some of the homes included ranches with livestock that was being moved to an emergency animal shelter established at Pierce College about eight miles away, ABC News reported.  

‘We are expecting the rain to stop around noon time and fire activity to begin again,’ LAFD spokeman David Ortiz told ABC Los Angeles station KABC on Sunday. 

‘We’re trying to keep it up out of the old growth, which is 50-60 years that hasn’t burned. So there’s a lot of dense, thick material there – oily plants that have died out because of the drought. So that’s our objective today is to try to keep it out of that and protect the communities and neighborhoods to the west of this fire because that’s what’s closest to it.’ 

The Los Angeles Fire Department resorted to battling the fire with helicopters and air-tankers, which are dropping fire retardant and water on the flames in areas hard for firefighters on the ground to reach, officials told ABC News.

‘Much of the area remains inaccessible. This is primarily an air-based operation with both fixed wing and rotary working together,’ Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Margaret Stewart told ABC News Saturday evening. 

Firefighting helicopters continuously drop water on the water

Firefighting helicopters continuously drop water on the water

As of Sunday, the fire continues to rage

As of Sunday, the fire continues to rage

A firefighting helicopter drops water onto the fire Saturday evening

A firefighting helicopter drops water onto the fire Saturday evening

Smoke rises from a brush fire is seen behind homes in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles Saturday

Smoke rises from a brush fire is seen behind homes in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles Saturday

‘Much of the area remains inaccessible. This is primarily an air-based operation with both fixed wing and rotary working together,’ Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Margaret Stewart told ABC News Saturday evening

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