Four charred bodies found in the mountains near the Mexican border and two others discovered in a house in San Diego County boosted the death toll of the California wildfires to 12, with 60 others injured. Authorities confirmed yesterday that the 25,000-acre Santiago Fire in Orange County was arson, set by someone with particular knowledge of how wildfires spread.
A reward for information leading to the arrest of the arsonist has been tripled to $150,000. As the Santa Anna winds died down, firefighters began to gain control of the blazes, but cautioned that offshore winds still posed a threat. President Bush and Gov. Schwarzenegger yesterday toured the fire-ravaged areas, where 2,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed since Sunday.