A young boy playing with matches started a California wildfire that burned tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes.
The boy, whose name cannot be revealed because of his age, admitted starting the Buckweed fire by playing with matches on October 21.
The fire destroyed over 38,000 acres and 21 homes in the Agua Dolce community. 63 structures were destroyed and five people, two of them firefighters, were injured. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said around 15,000 people were evacuated due to the fire.
18 out of the 23 California wildfires were completely controlled as of Tuesday, with the other five listed as at least 70% contained by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. 14 people have died, 1,600 homes were destroyed, and over 500,000 acres burned in the fires.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed to “hunt down” anyone responsible for setting wildfires. “If I were one of the people who started the fires, I would not sleep soundly right now, because we’re right behind you,” threatened Schwarzenegger. Five people, including the boy, were arrested in arson investigations related to the fires last week.
Authorities are following up on over 1,500 tips related to a white Ford F-150 pickup seen near the starting point of the Santiago fire, one of the largest and most destructive wildfires. The truck was reportedly a model year between 1998 and 2004, and had tubular chrome running boards. It was spotted on Santiago Canyon Road at the time the fire started.
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