Boy Playing With Matches Started Calif. Fire

Buckweed fire burned more than 38,000 acres
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2007 7:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – Playing with matches went horribly wrong for a Southern California boy who has admitted to inadvertently starting one of last week's sprawling fires. The Buckweed fire, which forced more than 15,000 to evacuate and burned 63 structures, started October 21; the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had identified the suspect a day later, CNN reports. Sheriffs released the boy, whose name and age were withheld, to the custody of his parents.

The case will go to the DA's office. Officials have charged five people with arson in relation to the fires, and are seeking the driver of a white Ford truck spotted near the origin of the Santiago Fire in Orange County. "If I were one of the people who started the fires, I would not sleep soundly right now, " Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger offered ominously, "because we're right behind you."