The Palisades Fire broke out near Topanga State Park late on May 14. Arson investigators charged one man in connection to the fire. The terrain is steep and the fuels have not burned in several decades. Because of this, the fire was tough for crews to contain.
The fire sparked Friday, May 14, prompting an evacuation order for more than 1,000 residents through the weekend. The fire took off Saturday growing over 700 acres and grew another 500 acres overnight and Sunday.
The blaze is currently 1,202 acres and is now 98% contained. Crews are patrolling. Additionally, all of the evacuations were lifted and roads reopened. Numerous air and ground crews responded. However, it was difficult for crews to gain access due to the steep and rough terrain. Also, the larger tankers could not make drops because of the inversion from the smoke and weather. Crews relied mostly on helicopter drops.
The vegetation in this area is very thick and dense and has not burned largely in 50 to 60 years. Crews gain control over the fire throughout last week with the help of cool and moist weather.
The cause for many starts for Cal Fire is Arson. Arson is deliberately setting a fire. These situations are dangerous and often result in large resource responses. So far this year, Cal Fire Law Enforcement made at least 44 arson arrests.
The Palisade Fire is an early start to the typical beginning of fire season this summer. In 2021 already, wildfires have burned over 14,000 acres across the state. This is a significant increase in fire activity compared to 2020. Unfortunately, 2020 was a record year for wildfires, which may be an indicator for another busy year in 2021.