determined if that was the case.
"We're still looking at every possibility. It's still under
investigation," said Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Luis Cervantes of the
department's arson-fire investigations office. Cervantes would not
comment when asked if arson investigators have moved closer to
determining the fire's cause. He said nothing has been ruled out
including arson or an electrical transformer exploding.
He did not know how much longer the investigation would take.
County firefighters are leading the investigation because the blaze
started just outside Glendale borders. The county has eight investigators
working to establish a cause, Cervantes said.
Glendale Fire Chief Richard Hinz said last week that it would have
been difficult for an arsonist to start the fire where it originated at
Starland and Sugarloaf drives.
"That's an usual place for an arson because it's off the beaten path,"
It could be that high winds blew two power lines together, sparking
the blaze, said Assistant Fire Chief Chris Gray.
Hinz told Glendale council members the morning after the Dec. 21 blaze
that a downed power line or blown electrical transformer could have
caused the fire.
Investigators are exploring that possibility because witnesses said
they saw a blue flash right before the fire started, Hinz said.
Cervantes would not comment on Hinz's theory.
"I have ruled nothing out yet," Cervantes said.
The blaze may be out but brushfire-related threats remain, fire
officials said. This weekend firefighters will be getting the word about
clearing brush and preventing mudslides.
Firefighters will visit several Glendale neighborhoods this weekend to
advise residents how to protect their homes from future fires and
The San Rafael Hills blaze burned up the brush that would slow erosion
in case of a big rain, so the area is being reseeded and bails of hay are
being spread along the hillsides.
If the area gets any rain it probably won't come until next week, said
National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan.
"There won't be any rain for at least another seven days," Kaplan
So far, only .84 inches of rain has fallen since June in the
Southland, Kaplan said. The average by this time is five inches, he
Last year at this time, 1.87 inches of rain had fallen, he said.