California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has just offered a public reward of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist(s) who set the largest wildfire in Los Angeles County’s history.
Authorities have traced the ignition point just off a public road and say they found the substance used to start the historic blaze, but they would not identify it.
The so-called Station fire has now consumed growth and structures on more than 154,000 acres, or more than 234 square miles. That’s an area more than 10 times the size of New York’s Manhattan island. It’s still not contained and has cost millions of dollars to fight with resources coming in from all over the country and Canada.
Two firefighters have died while combating the blaze, which began Aug. 26.
The huge reward, the largest allowed under state law, comes at the request of L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca and supplements any local rewards. It indicates, however, that authorities do not have many or any concrete leads on the criminals’ identity.
The governor’s full, unedited proclamation is published below.
Governor’s Proclamation, Sept. 4, 2009:
WHEREAS, on August 26, 2009, I proclaimed a State of Emergency in Los Angeles County due to a fire that started on August 26,California Firefighter Dave Morgan2009, now known as the Station Fire; and
WHEREAS, the Station Fire has burned approximately 150,000 acres, continues to burn and is not yet contained; and
WHEREAS, two firefighters were killed while fighting the Station Fire in Los Angeles County; and
WHEREAS, state and local officials have determined the cause of the fire is arson; and
WHEREAS, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca requested that a state reward be offered, in supplement to an existing reward, to encourage individuals with information about this crime to contact law enforcement; and
WHEREAS, public assistance is vital to law enforcement, and rewards often encourage public cooperation essential to apprehend those who have committed serious offenses; and
WHEREAS, the Governor is authorized by Penal Code section 1547(b) to offer rewards up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person who kills a firefighter in the line of duty; and
WHEREAS, the reward will be paid in accordance with Penal Code section 1547.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, do hereby offer, effective immediately, a reward in the amount of $100,000 for new information, voluntarily given hereafter, leading to the arrest and conviction in a California court of the person or persons responsible for setting this fire.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed at Sacramento, California this 4th day of September 2009.