One Can Only Hope California Has the Good Sense Not to Prosecute
November 1, 2007
10-Year-Old With Matches Started a California Wildfire
By MICHAEL PARRISH
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31 — A 10-year-old boy admitted that he accidentally started one of the largest of last week’s Southern California wildfires while playing with matches, enforcement officials say.
The blaze, the Buckweed fire, started in the early afternoon of Oct. 21, in Agua Dulce, a rural community in the northern part of Los Angeles County. Fanned by high winds and hot, dry weather, it spread quickly, driving 15,000 people from their homes, destroying 21 houses and 22 other buildings, injuring three people and blackening more than 38,000 acres.
. . . “A 10-year-old boy is in a whole other psychic realm,” said Dr. Jeff Victoroff, associate professor of clinical neurology and psychiatry, at the University of Southern California. “At least one study suggests that if you take a population of boys between kindergarten and fourth grade, 60 percent of them have committed unsupervised fireplay, whi…