The Cranston Fire burned thousand of acres around Idyllwild and caused the town to be evacuated. During the fire, several significant events occurred here and elsewhere.

Sheriff’s vigilance.
One reason many people fear evacuation is the concern that potential looters have been notified that the area is full of vacant houses.

Idyllwild Fire Chief praised the aggressive patrols the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deployed during the Fire. Lt. John Salisbury of the Hemet Station reported that at least two significant arrests were made during the incident.

Damage
Fear of damage to property is another reason some people are reluctant to evacuate. The Cranston fire destroyed five residences and two outbuildings.

Future Help
On Thursday, July 26, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Riverside County’s Cranston Fire area. He asked President Trump to also declare it a national emergency, which Trump did Saturday, July 28.

A local emergency proclamation was issued on July 25, but the Riverside County Board of Supervisors will review and pass a resolution ratifying the local emergency. “The Proclamation of Local Emergency begins the process to receive resources for assistance to first responders, residents and others impacted by the fire.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also granted a Fire Management Assistance Grant to assist with the mitigation, management and control of the fire.

Arson
On Friday, Michael Hestrin, District Attorney announced that Brandon McGlover, 32, of Temecula, was charged with 15 felony counts relating to nine separate fires, of which the largest was the Cranston Fire. The nine arson fires were all set the same day, July 25, and were in the Idyllwild, Anza and Sage areas.

If convicted as currently charged, McGlover faces a potential life sentence. He is currently being held in lieu of $1 million bail, according to the District Attorney’s Office press release.

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