Reward for Californian arsonist now at $500,000

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

The reward for the nation's worst arson-related attack was increased to $500,000 today after the arsonist caused four deaths to firefighters, and serious burn injuries to a fifth.

The injured firefighter has burns covering almost 90 percent of his body.

The blaze, which was ignited in uninhabited brushlands, dictated a mandatory evacuation of the thousands of civilians in the area and destroyed more than 24,000 acres of land.

No evidence has been produced to show an arsonist was involved, however an investigator, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the person or people responsible could face first-degree murder charges.

Dale Bosworth, Chief of the US Forest Service released a public statement on the Forest Service website, "It is with deep sorrow that we learn of the deaths of four firefighters from the San Bernardino National Forest in California. Another firefighter is being treated for serious burns, suffered while the crew was battling a wind-whipped wildfire that drove hundreds of people from their homes. My heartfelt sympathies go out to these families, friends and loved one affected by this tragedy."

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