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Crime & Courts

Teenager Charged With Starting California Wildfire


Aug. 8: Los Angeles County firefighters work to cut a firebreak above an exclusive housing tract as flames shoot up the hillside they are working on. (AP)

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- A 14-year-old boy has been booked on arson charges after deputies said he confessed to accidentally starting a 40-acre wildfire north of Los Angeles as he was trying to smoke marijuana.

LA County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker says two 14-year-old boys from Saugus were detained just after the fire that briefly threatened about 50 homes was knocked down Sunday afternoon.

Parker says one of the boys was released after the other boy said he started the fire when he dropped a barbecue lighter as he was trying to light a pot pipe.

Parker says the second boy had showed up shortly after the fire started and tried to help put it out, but the two boys fled when they couldn't control it. Their names were withheld because of their age.

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