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Man arrested in connection to Palisades brushfire

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters during a press conference Monday that he expects firefighters to be battling the Palisades blaze for at least two more days. Photo courtesy of Mayor Eric Garcetti/Facebook
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters during a press conference Monday that he expects firefighters to be battling the Palisades blaze for at least two more days. Photo courtesy of Mayor Eric Garcetti/Facebook

May 18 (UPI) -- Authorities in California said they have arrested a man in connection to the start of the Palisades Fire.

During a press conference Monday, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas confirmed to reporters that a suspect has been arrested tied to the fire whose start had be labeled suspicious.

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"We feel we have the right person," he said.

The suspect, whose name was not released, was receiving medical treatment for smoke inhalation, Terrazas said.

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The Palisades Fire ignited Friday just west of Los Angeles and was quickly called suspicious by authorities with the LA Fired Department reporting Sunday that two people had been detained, one of whom was later released.

Terrazas told reporters the person released was deemed not a suspect.

The suspect still in custody was apprehended about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, he said.

The fire department was notified of the fire in a canyon with rugged and steep terrain late Friday, prompting it to deploy aircraft to dump water on it as ground crews attempted to gain access.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for two zones though none were put in place for Los Angeles City.

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By Sunday, the fire had grown to 1,325 acres with zero percent contained.

Officials said Monday night that firefighters were able to make advances and had achieved 23% containment.

"This has been a team effort across multiple agencies, both in the air and on the ground," the department said via Twitter.

As a result of the advancements made, officials said mandatory evacuation orders imposed for Topanga affecting some 1,000 residents were lifted at 6 p.m. though evacuation warnings were still in place for Trailer Canyon, Quarry Canyon and Enclave Housing Communities.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said no injuries have been reported and no structures were currently under threat while Terrazas said a firefighter did receive a minor injury to their eye.

Garcetti told reporters that the fire is located in an area that hasn't burned in 75 years with some brush as tall as 30 feet.

"We are expecting that we'll be fighting this for at least a couple more days, two or three more days at a minimum," he said.

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