5 Sep 2009

LA wildfire ruled arson

6:05 am on 5 September 2009

A huge wildfire which has devastated a large area north of Los Angeles, was started deliberately.

A homicide investigation has been launched by the LA County Sheriff's Department homicide bureau because two fire fighters were killed tackling the blaze, known as the Station Fire.

The fire covers nearly 150,000 acres - the largest in the county's history.

A total of 64 houses have been destroyed and 147,418 acres of land burned. The BBC reports the fire is not expected to be fully contained until mid-September.

Reports say the fire is now 38% contained.

No further details have been given about the evidence for arson or whether any suspects have been identified.

The LA Times quoted Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca as saying making details public could damage attempts to find and prosecute suspected arsonists.