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Man Charged with Starting Ranch 2 Fire Faces 23 Years in Prison

Osmin Palencia. – Courtesy photo

A 36-year-old man was charged Tuesday, one day after he turned himself in, with starting a brushfire that has burned 4,300 acres as of Thursday morning and caused evacuations in Azusa last week, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Osmin Palencia faces one felony count each of arson during a state of emergency and arson of a structure or forest.

The case includes allegations that Palencia was previously convicted of dissuading a witness in 2015.

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

Bail is set 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.

August 20, 2020

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