Lab Tests Substance in LA Wildfire Probe

Station fire, 42% contained, chars 148K acres
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2009 6:10 PM CDT
Firefighters, U.S. Forest Service and law enforcement officials line up at the Station fire command center to salute a hearse carrying the body of Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Tedmund Hall.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – Investigators of a deadly Los Angeles wildfire are having a substance from the scene tested to confirm whether the blaze was man-made. “There was material that didn't belong there," a source tells the Los Angeles Times. "It was clear evidence that the fire was intentionally set." Even if negligence caused the fire, homicide charges are still in order after the deaths of two firefighters this week, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

The largest wildfire in county history, the Station fire grew to more than 148,000 acres today and was 42% contained. Authorities are most concerned about the fire's eastern side, in the San Gabriel wilderness, and its western side, where 20-foot-high brush is hampering firefighters in the Pacoima Canyon area. Sheriff's deputies and firefighters paused in their work this morning to honor a procession for Ted Hall, who died Sunday battling the blaze.