News Releases

August 18, 2020: Man Charged with Starting Brushfire in Azusa

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A 36-year-old man was charged today with starting a brushfire that grew to burn thousands of acres and caused evacuations in Azusa last week, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.

Osmin Palencia (dob 1/4/84) faces one felony count each of arson during a state of emergency and arson of a structure or forest.

Case KA125260 includes allegations that Palencia was previously convicted of dissuading a witness in 2015.

Arraignment is scheduled today in Department 4 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, West Covina Branch.

The defendant, who lives in a tent near the Mountain Cove community, allegedly started the fire on August 13 during an argument, prosecutors said.

Bail is scheduled at $435,000. If convicted as charged, Palencia faces a possible maximum sentence of 23 years in state prison.

The case remains under investigation by the Azusa Police and Los Angeles County Fire departments.