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Old 10-26-2007, 11:00 PM   #151
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I think the fire burned my co-worker's orange grove, but she wasn't at work today so I'll have to check on Monday. As of Thurs afternoon, the fire was burning the property alongside hers. Luckily though, it's not her property anymore. Her family lived in So Cal for a long time (generations), but her and her generation moved and recently sold the orange grove. A casino bought the land and was planning on using it to put in a new access road, so the fire *might* have done them a favor. Still kinda sad though. She said the other groves will now likely be sold for more suburban housing since you can't just plant new tries and be back in business.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:36 AM   #152
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By Daisy Nguyen, Associated Press Writer | October 31, 2007

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. --Officials blamed a wildfire that consumed more than 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes last week on a boy playing with matches, and said they would ask a prosecutor to consider the case.

The boy, whose name and age were not released, admitted to sparking the fire on Oct. 21, Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Diane Hecht said Tuesday. Ferocious winds helped it quickly spread.

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

The boy was released to his parents, and the case will be presented to the district attorney's office, Hecht said. It was not clear if he had been arrested or cited by detectives.

The fire began in an area near Agua Dulce and quickly spread. It was among 15 or so major wildfires that killed 14 people, destroyed some 2,100 homes and blackened 809 square miles from Los Angeles to the Mexican border last week.

Authorities arrested five people for arson during that period, but none have been linked to any of the major blazes.

All but four of the blazes are now fully contained. Firefighters on Wednesday continued to cut lines around the remaining fires and kept a close eye on the weather.

Forecasters have said moderate Santa Ana winds could pick up later in the week.

Investigators have blamed an arsonist for setting a destructive wildfire in Orange County that blackened 28,500 acres and destroyed 16 homes.

Authorities were seeking the driver of a white Ford F-150 pickup truck spotted in a canyon area around the time the fire broke out. They said they wanted to talk to the driver, but stopped short of calling the person a suspect.

Officials offered a $285,000 reward to anyone with information that will lead to an arrest and conviction.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:55 AM   #153
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That is heartbreaking. I have a friend who started a fire when he was a small boy, playing with matches while his alcoholic parents weren't paying attention to him. It destroyed friends' homes and I forget how much acreage, but it was huge. The family had to leave town from the shame and moved to a completely different part of the country. Now an adult in his late 40s, he's still haunted by the shame and can link many of his adult life problems back to that horrifying event. He said even though it was really his parents' fault because they were so out of it they never paid any attention to him, he was damaged for life from the guilt. Very sad.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:31 PM   #154
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Oh, wow. Tragic stories, the both of them. I feel bad for both of those kids, what with the feelings they have or will have as a result of this .

I don't know when parents decided they didn't have to pay attention to their own children anymore, but it's a trend that really, seriously needs to stop. Now.

Angela
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Old 11-01-2007, 03:16 AM   #155
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Quote:
New York Times, Nov. 1

...“A 10-year-old boy is in a whole other psychic realm,” said Dr. Jeff Victoroff, associate professor of clinical neurology and psychiatry, at the University of Southern California. “At least one study suggests that if you take a population of boys between kindergarten and fourth grade, 60% of them have committed unsupervised fireplay, which is to say that fireplay is a common and absolutely normal part of human development.”
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:23 AM   #156
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time.com

The young boy who started one of the worst of Southern California's wildfires last month will not be criminally charged, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said Tuesday. The 10-year-old boy had admitted to police that he had started the fire accidentally while playing with matches Oct. 21. Had he been charged with arson, he could have been made a ward of the state under California law.

"After a careful evaluation of the evidence, the District Attorney's Office will not file a petition in Juvenile Court against the minor accused of starting the Buckweed Fire," a statement from D.A. Steve Cooley said Tuesday afternoon. "The evidence presented by Sheriff's investigators was that the fire was caused by the 10-year-old boy playing with matches and accidentally igniting the brush. There is no evidence of intent on the part of the minor. The District Attorney's Office is referring the matter to the Department of Children and Family Services for evaluation of the minor's situation to determine if other intervention is necessary."

The 10-year-old sparked the Buckweed fire in Los Angeles County, which destroyed 21 homes and injured at least three people. The fires in southern California toward the end of October incinerated more than 800 square miles — an area 40 times as large as Manhattan — and destroyed some 2,100 homes.
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:40 PM   #157
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What a sad story.

I wonder if there are any negligence actions in the making here.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:24 PM   #158
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Nothing in the firsthand accounts I've read from other people who lived at the ranch suggests to me that his parents were in any way at fault. But that doesn't necessarily mean they won't be held civilly liable anyway.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:10 PM   #159
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I'm kind of waiting for someone out there to bring up negligent supervision or something equivalent to that.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:28 PM   #160
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Well, how about those kids who burned down their home some years ago and look who got the blame? Not negligent parents. Beavis and Butthead got blamed, and from then on, Beavis couldn't say "FIRE! FIRE!" anymore on the show.

Wonder what will get blamed for this one.
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:02 PM   #161
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I'm pretty sure that was an urban myth.

But yeah, if the parents get charged for this it would probably be something like "negligent supervision," whether common sense supports the charge or not.
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