Irvine Police Department Press Release

Public Information Office
1 Civic Center Plaza
Irvine, CA 92606

(949) 724-7216


Subject :

Arson Suspect Arrested After Reporting Fire
Contact :Steve Concialdi, Captain, Orange County Fire Authority    714-357-7782
Julia Engen, Commander, Irvine Police Department    949-724-7112

IRVINE, CA (May 7, 2014): Tuesday May 6, at 7:25 p.m., Irvine Police Officers and the Orange County Fire Authority responded to a brush fire on the hillside, just below Rustling Wind, in the Turtle Rock area of Irvine. Personnel from the OCFA were able to quickly extinguish the fire, limiting the damage to an approximate 40' x 30' area of dry grass and preventing any structures or homes from being threatened.


The Irvine Police Arson Investigator and OCFA personnel determined the fire was suspicious in nature, apparently started in dry leaves piled on discarded wood.  They were contacted at the scene by 20-year-old, John Howe of Irvine who had reported the blaze.  After interviewing Howe, the Arson Investigator determined Howe set the fire in some dry leaves but it grew larger than he expected prompting him to call 9-1-1.  Howe was traveling through the area on a bicycle at the time of the incident. Although the potential for tragedy was great, there is no indication Howe was targeting any structures or homes.


Howe was arrested for willfully starting the fire (Arson to forest land) and booked into the Orange County Jail where he is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.    




One Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 724-7000

"Working In Partnership with the Community"


Since its incorporation in 1971, Irvine has become a nationally recognized city, with a population of 242,651, spans 66 square miles and is recognized as one of America’s safest and most successful master-planned urban communities. Top-rated educational institutions, an enterprising business atmosphere, sound environmental stewardship, and respect for diversity all contribute to Irvine’s enviable quality of life. This family-friendly city features more than 16,000 acres of parks, sports fields and dedicated open space and is the home of the Orange County Great Park – the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century.  For more information, please visit