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Calif. Sheep Fire probably arson

Dec. 16, 2009 at 12:14 AM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A wildfire that burned for seven days in Southern California in October was caused by human activity and was probably deliberately set, investigators say.

The Sheep Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains charred an 8-mile swath in San Bernardino National Forest and destroyed one home. John Miller, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman, said the fire began in a remote area hundreds of feet from the nearest roads, suggesting arson was more likely than an accident, The Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise reported Tuesday.

"When you look at where it started, you ask, what would start a fire here?" Miller said.

Investigators have ruled out lightning and power lines as possible causes.

The fire began Oct. 3, on a day when it was whipped up by Santa Ana winds. The Forest Service has appealed to anyone who saw suspicious activity in the area that day to come forward.

Topics: John Miller
© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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