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Arsonist Sought in 80-Acre Canyon Fire

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Authorities searched for an arsonist Thursday who sparked a brush fire that raced through 80 acres of Carbon Canyon Regional Park.

Arson investigators searching the southeast portion of the park found a charred incendiary device, footprints and other evidence that led them to conclude the blaze was intentionally set.

A plea for the public’s help in locating the arsonist seemed to be working, with fire and police investigators receiving numerous tips, Orange County Fire Capt. Dan Young said.

“We’ve been getting lots of calls,” Young said. “We’ve got several leads and they are good leads. It’s good to see the community pitching in to help like that.”

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Meanwhile a warming Santa Ana condition that was bringing high winds into the area worried fire officials and prompted them to leave extra crews on the scene during mop-up procedures.

“There are still hot spots that we can’t walk away from,” Young said.

The blaze charred dense grassland in the 120-acre park, narrowly missing three groves of 60-foot-high California redwoods that were planted in the park in 1975 for preservation purposes.

The fire burned within a quarter of a mile of two neighborhoods. No one was injured and no property was destroyed, Young said.

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The 110 county firefighters at the scene, comprising 25 engine companies, two bulldozer crews and four hand crews, fought increasing winds and chilly temperatures as they worked all night to contain the blaze, Young said.

Arson investigators declined to describe the device they believe was used to set the blaze.


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