A fire that burned two acres of bluffs in the northern end of Palisades Park in Santa Monica late Sunday, November 27th, is believed to have been started by a homeless man who was reportedly cooking in the area, City of Santa Monica fire officials said.
The man, who received second-degree burns to his hands and arms, was treated at a local hospital, fire officials said.
No other injuries were reported.
Santa Monica fire chief Jim Hone said 30 firefighters from the Santa Monica Fire Department and about 90 others from the Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County Fire Departments battled the fire, which was first reported at about 9 p.m. in the 300 block of Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica.
“It was a large-volume fire in a significantly large area of the brush,” Hone said.
The fire spread through the brush and eventually consumed a two-acre area by the time it was contained.
Firefighters attacked the fire using hand lines from above the bluffs and from below on Pacific Coast Highway, Hone said.
The Los Angeles City Fire Department also brought in two water-dropping helicopters to help extinguish the fire.
It took firefighters about three hours to control the fire and the last fire units left the scene at about 3 a.m., Hone said.
Some firefighters remained at the scene with a fire engine into the early morning hours to contain any hot spots that might have rekindled, he said.
There is no cost estimate for the damage to the area, fire officials said.
“The trees were pretty well consumed,” Hone said.
“The brush area was burned to a point that it will take a while for the vegetation to grow back.”
Santa Monica fire officials said the homeless man reported that he thought he put the fire out after cooking but when he awoke later he saw that the fire had consumed the surrounding area.
No arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing, police said.