Arson suspected in forest inferno

A transient who alerted authorities to a fire near Half Moon Bay on Tuesday was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of starting the blaze, police said.

Michael Taylor, 47, was camping in a woodland area called Spanish Town on the 12000 block of San Mateo Road just east of Half Moon Bay in unincorporated San Mateo County when he flagged down a police sergeant to report the fire around 5 p.m., Half Moon Bay police said.

A San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office deputy then arrested Taylor, who was on probation for unknown charges. Sheriff’s officers interviewed Taylor and determined he started the fire, arresting him on felony arson charges, Sheriff’s Office Lt. Marc Alcantara said.

Fire and police officials first heard about the fire from Taylor, Alcantara said.

The fire burned about 7½ acres and was under control about one hour and 40 minutes after it began, said Belmont-San Carlos fire Chief Doug Fry, who was the incident’s mutual aid coordinator. Fire crews investigated the incident Tuesday night and into Wednesday, Fry said.

No property was damaged and no one was injured in the three-alarm fire, Fry said.

mrosenberg@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Smoking cannabis. (Shutterstock)
Supes ban tobacco smoking in apartments but exempt cannabis

San Francisco banned smoking and vaping of tobacco in apartments Tuesday night,… Continue reading

Dr. Grant Colfax and Mayor London Breed said new restrictions could come this week due to rising COVID-19 cases.<ins> (Examiner screenshot)</ins>
Breed: ‘More restrictive action’ needed to slow spread of COVID-19

San Francisco officials said Tuesday tougher restrictions will soon be imposed to… Continue reading

Many landlords fought the proposal requiring them to register properties, calling it an invasion of privacy. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
Housing inventory wins unanimous approval from supervisors

Legislation will require landlords to register properties, report vacancies and rents

Harlan Kelly, head of the SFPUC and husband to City Administrator Naomi Kelly (right), faces federal charges for allegedly trading inside information on a city contract in return for a paid family vacation. (Courtesy photo)
Harlan Kelly, head of SFPUC, charged with fraud in widening Nuru scandal

Kelly accused of engaging in corrupt partnership with permit expediter

Jeff Tumlin, director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said the agency’s fiscal situation is “far worse” than the worse case scenarios projected back in April. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA prepares for massive potential layoffs as budget crisis continues to build

More than 1,200 full-time jobs on the line as agency struggles to close deficit

Most Read