A wildfire that damaged two homes and forced hundreds of Newport Beach residents to evacuate their homes last week was most likely deliberately set, fire officials said Tuesday.
“We’re pretty certain it was set. Fire investigators are working with the police department,” Newport Beach Fire Marshal Steve Bunting said. “The area [where the fire started] was gated off and closed to the public.”
About 3:20 p.m. Oct. 13, a fire started in Bonita Canyon’s brush and quickly spread, thanks to gusty Santa Ana winds kicking up that day. Winds have contributed to many fires starting in California over the years, including when power lines were blown down in Los Angeles earlier this year. Last week’s fire, officials said, was probably not an accident.