First Arson Charge Filed in California Wildfires

epa04209322 A longtime exposure shows smolderings remains of overnight fires on the hillsides of San Marcos, San Diego county, California, USA, early 16 May 2014. Over 1,000 firefighters battled a series of fast-moving southern California wildfires on 15 May that spread across the region despite the efforts of more than 20 firefighting aircraft. Huge clouds of black smoke hung over much of San Diego County, where the worst blazes were burning 15 May, driven by the blistering Santa Ana winds, which bring strong, dry gusts out from the interior desert. EPA/STUART PALLEY
Smolderings remains of overnight fires on the hillsides of San Marcos, San Diego count.
EPA

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced Friday the first arson charge filed in the region’s wildfires, CNN reports.

Police arrested Alberto Serrato for allegedly adding brush onto a small existing fire in the San Luis Rey riverbed area in Oceanside, causing one of the wildfires to spread, Dumanis said at a news conference Friday.

It’s unclear what caused the wildfires, but law enforcement officials in southern California had been looking into arson as a possibility.

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