LA wildfires 'were arson'

nvestigators found evidence of arson at the point of origin for the largest of eight fires burning in the county, which has blackened an area the size of Chicago.

"Arson investigators from the US Forest Service [and other agencies] ... have concluded that the Station Fire was the result of an arson," Forest Service Commander Rita Wears told reporters at a press conferencContainment of the main fire has increased to 38 percent, up from 28 percent on Wednesday, according to fire commander Mike Dietrich, who said his force of more than 4,700 firefighters was making "great progress".

But the amount of scorched landscape grew slightly, also, to nearly 145,000 acres, or about 226 square miles. The blaze, roaring out of control since August 26, prompted the evacuation of some 6,300 homes at the height of the threat.

As of Wednesday night, the all-clear had been given for the last of those foothill residents to return home.

Meanwhile, fire commanders expressed confidence that key facilities on Mount Wilson, home to a world-famous observatory and a telecommunications and broadcasting hub for the region, would be spared from damage.


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