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Monday, August 15 2022
North America

California: 25 arson arrests made in June amid wildfire season

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Los Angeles: California’s Fire Department made 25 arson-related arrests in June, bringing the total to 94 for 2022, as the US state is facing a tough wildfire season.

Arson-related arrests have increased considerably compared to previous years, ever since California saw its worst wildfire season in history in 2020, Xinhua news agency quoted the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) as saying.

Cal Fire made 70, 120 and 149 arson arrests in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively, and 2022 could see even more, since the department predicted the state to experience a longer wildfire season as a direct result of climate change.

As of Saturday June 9, 3,598 wildfire incidents have been reported in California.

Experts say bone-dry drought conditions and overgrown forests have enabled even the smallest sparks to explode into an inferno, which has led to the sharp increase.

Continued dry conditions “with above normal temperatures through Spring will leave fuel moisture levels lower than normal increasing the potential for wildland fire activity”, Cal Fire said.

There are two types of arson in California — wilful, malicious arson; and reckless arson.

Whatever the motive is, arson is especially dangerous given the record heat and drought across the West, which lead to faster, hotter and more intense wildfires than ever before, Cal Fire added.

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