Arsonists paint disaster with brush

Issue 10 and Volume 138.

Arsonists paint disaster with brush Many of the fires that raced through southern California last July left behind evidence of unnatural ignition. In some cases, an arsonist was setting new fires while earlier ones were still burning out of control. Fire spread was aided in large part by high temperatures (over 90°F), low humidity, and critically low (45% to 60%) live fuel moisture (this is the amount of moisture that is contained in living plants). Flame lengths of 35 feet were witnessed. The mutual aid plan of the State of California was fully operational during this period of intense fire activity. Strike teams (consisting of one battalion chief and five engines) from many departments were sent throughout the state to assist other agencies. The Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) alone had 16 strike teams out of the city. Three of these teams assisted Ventura County and the United States…

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