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Wildfire Arson Probe Progresses

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Youths have been questioned and a man was being sought in an arson fire that has blackened 6,500 acres and singed two homes in a subdivision, authorities said Tuesday.

More than a dozen spot fires in the Lake Tahoe Basin have also been labeled as suspicious.

“We’re focused in on two different areas of the investigation, one involving a juvenile, the other involving an adult male,” Warren Gay, deputy chief of the East Fork Fire Protection and Paramedic District, said of the Holbrook blaze.

Authorities interviewed the youths Monday, Gay said, but the man being sought for questioning had not been located.

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Gay said authorities were also investigating a possible link between the Holbrook fire and a smaller blaze that broke out earlier Monday near the Clear Creek Youth Camp southwest of Carson City.

The Holbrook fire south of Gardnerville broke out at 10:12 a.m. Monday behind Holbrook Junction along U.S. 395. Two homes were scorched by the flames and one outbuilding and a travel trailer reportedly burned, said Stacey Giomi of the Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators.

The fire was 15% contained Tuesday and was showing little movement because of higher humidity and a steady bombardment by air tankers and helicopters.

Across the state line, firefighters aided by cooler weather gained on a series of Northern California wildfires that burned 25 homes and a historic schoolhouse.

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An arson fire near the town of Kelsey in the Sierra Nevada foothills was expected to be fully contained by this morning.

A fire near Rough and Ready and a larger blaze along the California-Nevada border were encircled by fire lines.

Since Friday, at least half a dozen small fires have erupted in the Kelsey-Placerville area.

Meanwhile, authorities evacuated some homes near the town of Columbia in Tuolumne County as firefighters battled a 160-acre blaze.

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And an 18,000-acre wildfire in an uninhabited part of the Klamath National Forest near the Oregon border was not expected to be contained until Sunday, officials said.


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