Crews investigate whether string of brush fires, including 2 overnight, are linked

Fire crews doused two overnight brush fires just hours after they dealt with a blaze in El Dorado Nature Center Wednesday evening, and now they’re trying to determine if they’re all connected.

The string of blazes started with three small spot fires in the southeast corner of the nature center around 5:40 p.m., according to the Long Beach Fire Department.

Crews doused those blazes after they charred about an acre of brush, but a few hours later, they were racing to a new emergency a couple of miles west.

Long Beach Fire Department firefighters start mopping up the mess left behind by a brush fire in the El Dorado Nature Center. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Crews got word about a fire near Los Coyotes Diagonal and Willow Street just a few minutes before 9 p.m., LBFD spokesman Brian Fisk said.

A eucalyptus tree next to a retaining wall was ablaze and burning so intensely that fire crews had to call in a few extra engines.

“They got a quick handle on it once they got those additional resources,” Fisk said.

An hour later, there was a third blaze about two miles farther west near 29th Street and Redondo Avenue, Fisk said.

Video shot from the 405 Freeway showed the flames charring palm trees and brush just off the freeway.

It’s possible the string of fires are coincidental, but, Fisk said, investigators are looking into whether there’s a link among the three.

“They’re working hard on this,” Fisk said. It’s not clear yet what started the blazes.

A fire, seen from the Long Beach Airport, burns near the 405 Freeway. Courtesy photo.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children.