Wednesday, October 31, 2007

LA fire started by boy with matches (AP)

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - A boy playing with matches started a fire in north Los Angeles County that consumed more than 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes last week, authorities said Tuesday.

The boy, whose name and age were not released [because a lot of people would likely want to BLIKSEM him], said sheriff's Sgt. Diane Hecht.

"He admitted to playing with matches and accidentally starting the fire," said Hecht said in a statement.

The boy was released to his parents and the case will be be presented to the district attorney's office, Hecht said.
From Yahoo News

NVDL: Same thing happened on our farm in the early 90's. We had a small school building with dirt soccer pitch which the locals were allowed to use for free. At the time I was a student and was living on the farmhouse. That day I was having lunch at home. It was winter. Our farmworker called while we were having lunch saying: "Baas, die huis, hy brand."
Had I left the heater on?
On the way to the farm we saw a massive column of smoke billowing into the sky. From the smoke it looked like a volcanic eruption.

When we got there the accasias on both sides of the road were burning. At the river the flames swept into a giant fan as they flared over large reed stands. We watched the wind blow tall flame ribbons across the river, alighting the reeds on the other side. So much for that fire break.

It was a devastating fire, and pretty much everything was burnt to a crisp, except the house. It had a short, mowed lawn around it that was too short to catch fire, so the fire swept around it. In any event, it was started a few hundred metres from this farmhouse, by a few kids playing with matches on that very dry, windy, winter's day. Because the fire spread in a giant V from that spot.

The postscript to the story is that I lived in this ashtray for a few more weeks, got incredibly sick (from a throat infection), and then after a burglary (stealing my recentkly retired Air Force uniform and bicycle parts - there wasn't much else in a poor student's home), I cut my losses and moved back to the suburbs. A lot of Willow trees and other trees painstakingly planted over hundreds of weekends went up in smoke that day.

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