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Reward for arsonist in Station fire could top $150,000 today

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a $50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the arsonist who set the deadly Station fire.

The state has already established a $100,000 reward in the fire, which killed two firefighters and destroyed dozens of structures.

Investigators believe a substance found near the Station fire’s point of origin helped spread the deadly blaze, and it has emerged as a key piece of evidence in the arson probe, a source told The Times.

The source would not identify the substance but said it was found in the brush off Angeles Crest Highway, walking distance from the turnoff that is at the center of the arson probe.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it was an ongoing investigation, said the substance was taken to a lab for testing to further verify arson investigators' findings. The recovered material is not a device, according to the source.

“There was material that didn't belong there. It was clear evidence that the fire was intentionally set,” the source said.

Sources said investigators are going through a database of arson suspects and fire bugs to search for possible suspects.

Winds and low humidity stoked flames on the northern front of the huge Station fire overnight, while the western flank from La Cañada to Acton remained quiet.

“I feel very good with the progress made today,” U.S. Forest Service incident commander Mike Dietrich said in the early evening. “I would like to see more. We’ll continue tonight and go after it tomorrow.”

Winds blowing 30 to 40 miles an hour today energized the fire burning in the Pleasant View Ridge area of the San Gabriel Wilderness, north of Mt. Waterman.

Cooler temperatures and rising humidity this week should aid fire crews, who have had to deal with torrid heat  and dauntingly steep terrain.

“This has been a real tough fight,” said Michael Bryant, an L.A. County deputy fire chief.

--Bettina Boxall and Richard Winton

 
Comments () | Archives (7)

Arson is becoming a sick seasonal sport in L.A. County. We need to catch whoever did this, and make an example out of him. We can't keep losing firefighters, animals and their wilderness habitats, and structures to these sadistic psychos. I'm starting to think there should be the death penalty for arson. We need to get serious. That is how angry and frustrated I am. Something has to stop this madness.

I also think we need to shut down the Angeles National Forest indefinitely. At the very least it should always be shut down during heat waves and Santa Ana wind conditions. This has to stop.

I think there need to be cameras installed on and near the highway to catch and fine those who willingly and unwillingly contribute to forest fires in the Angeles National Forest. The person who started this fire could have been a negligent smoker who tossed a cigarette out his/her car window not knowing it can burn down the entire forest or he/she could have been a malicious arsonist who deliberately created the fire knowing the full consequences of his/her actions.
Either way, cameras will monitor all activities in these areas and will make people act more responsibly knowing that they will be fined for any such activities that will result in fires. There probably are powerful satellite cameras that can zoom in on suspects, however the public will never be informed of these endeveaors.
In California arson is a felony and when it results in a homicide it is felony murder resulting in a 25 years to life prison sentence.

Lets hope they find that killer soon killing two men whom have the most dangerous work protecting us all!When they catch him or her hope they get the death penalty slowly.My mind goes out to the familie whom has the support of most people in LA.May youre and our firefighters rest in peace!!

The arsonist that caused the Station Fire should be apprehended with no cost spared. What this coward did is not only murder but a crime against humanity--millions of people are now denied the beauty of the local Angeles National Forest because of this murdering criminal. I recommend that between the County, State, and Federal governments that the reward be increased immediately to $500,000. And when the person is caught and tried he/she should get the death penalty.

$150,000 reward??? I think I'm just found my new calling...

That's if this is really arson.

Why shut down the Angeles National Forest??? There's nothing left to burn. It's actually a very healthy forest right now. Mother nature will have it looking good in 5 or 10 years. Fire is a part of nature, even if it was started by arson. Lightning starts fires all the time that the forest service puts out. They need to let it burn, and just keep it out of the cities.


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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