Firefighters Taming Blazes

Abating winds aided progress; one arson suspect killed, another arrested
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2007 6:45 PM CDT
Brawley Fire Department firefighter Tommy Armstrong looks for hotspots in a wildfire ravaged neighborhood on Whispering Pines Drive in Running Springs, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007.(AP Photo/Marcio...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Diminishing winds today allowed firefighters to make broad progress against the California wildfires that have chased a million people from their homes, while police shot to death one arson suspect and detained another. Major fires still burned, mainly in Orange and San Diego counties, but firefighters' optimism was growing, the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials said a fifth evacuee died.

President Bush, who tours the area tomorrow, pledged federal help for homeowners uncovered by insurance. Police killed an arson suspect, seen acting suspiciously near brush, when he rammed his vehicle into a police car during a chase. Another suspect was arrested after he reportedly started a fire near a road. It's not clear if either man started any of the more than a dozen large wildfires in the state.