A 50-year-old man has been arrested for intentionally setting the Aug. 8, four-acre wildland fire at the Enid W. Pearson-Arastradero Preserve, the Palo Alto Police department has announced.
Detectives arrested Damon Lee Luce as the sole suspect in the case. Police had detained Luce at the time of the fire near the scene, after a passing bicyclist had reported a suspicious person matching his description. Police later released Luce pending the results of additional investigation.
Detectives have been conducting follow-up investigation in conjunction with crime-scene personnel and fire investigators from the Palo Alto Fire Department.
Luce was arrested Thursday morning at about 9:15 a.m. at the Industrial Hotel, 505 Cypress Ave. in South San Francisco, which is his most recent known address. Luce was taken into custody without incident and booked at the Santa Clara County Main Jail for five counts of felony arson.
On the day of the incident, investigators were able to determine that five small fires in the same area had been intentionally set, burning approximately four acres. Fire personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department, CAL FIRE, the Santa Clara County Fire Department, and the Woodside Fire Protection District were able to bring the blaze under control in about one hour. There were no injuries during the fire, and no structures sustained damage.
Although Luce is in custody, anyone with information about the fire is still asked to call the Palo Alto police 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.