LA forest fire said arson, murder investigation mounted

  LA forest fire said arson, murder investigation mounted

4 September 2009

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The huge wildfire burning in the Angeles National Forest, the largest ever in LA county, was started by arson and will be investigated as a homicide, authorities said on Thursday.

The arson declaration was made after investigators found evidence of arson at the point of origin for the so-called Station Fire, which has blackened an area the size of Chicago.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide bureau has initiated a homicide investigation due to the death of two firefighters.

The two firefighters died Sunday when their truck careened off a steep mountain road as they tried to escape the flames. (Source: MSNBC)

The conflageration has destroyed more than 90 structures, including scores of homes and several commercial buildings. Officials say cooperative weather has kept the fire from spreading faster.

Firefighters using bulldozers have been extending a firebreak around the blaze in the Angeles National Forest. They have built a fire line around about a third of the massive blaze. Although the fire is still active on a few fronts, firefighters say they are making progress.

About a dozen homes were evacuated early Thursday because of a flare up in Pacoima Canyon, on the western edge of the 144,000-acre Station Fire.

Firefighters are protecting Mount Wilson, home of many Los Angeles’ broadcast transmitters. Fire officials said that the fire in that area is very low intensity.

The blaze began last week above the hillside suburbs of La Canada Flintridge.

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