- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) A boy playing with matches started a fire in north Los Angeles County that consumed more than 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes last week, authorities said yesterday.

The boy, whose name and age were not released, was interviewed a day after the Buckweed Fire was sparked Oct. 21, said sheriff’s Sgt. Diane Hecht.

“He admitted to playing with matches and accidentally starting the fire,” Hecht said in a statement.

The boy was released to his parents, and the case will be be presented to the district attorney’s office, Hecht said.

The 60-square-mile fire began in an area near Agua Dulce and quickly spread by fierce desert winds. It was among more than a dozen major wildfires that killed 14 people and blackened 809 square miles from Los Angeles to the Mexican border.

Authorities arrested five people for arson during that period, but none have been linked to any of the major blazes.

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