Lancaster and Palmdale Area Brush Fires Likely Caused by Car Engine Failure


According to, seven brush fires ignited in the Lancaster and Palmdale areas early in the morning of Saturday, July 29th. Experts in arson investigation claim that the fires were started by car engine failure.
Burning in Los Angeles County, the seven fires scorched the hillsides between Pearblossom Highway in Palmdale and Avenue H in Lancaster. However, the first fire was reportedly started near Avenue K in Lancaster and was called-in around 12:30 AM on Saturday morning.
Although most of the seven fires were contained almost immediately, the largest fire burned long enough for the southbound lanes of the freeway near Avenue S. to be temporarily closed down. This fire reached a size of about 1.8 acres and burned until the early morning.
While it is speculated that the fires were caused by car engine failure, several calls to the Lancaster Police Department reported a man who allegedly threw possibly incendiary devices out his car window. These claims seemed to be a lead—especially as one witness said that the objects thrown appeared to send an “electric feed out” and that the fires “pretty much started [from] [there].”
However, these claims were later ascertained to be unfounded—as arson investigators determined the fires were not purposefully started by anyone, but rather were most likely ignited by catalytic converter failure, as they had previously postulated. Thus, the claims were likely falsified or due to witness embellishment—a common occurrence during times of crisis such as this one.
Although the fires only burned for a short time, the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station still urges any individuals with information regarding the outbreak of the fires to make contact. The cause of the fires is still under investigation as inhabitants of the Lancaster and Palmdale areas breathe a sigh of relief that something much more devastating was avoided.