Los Angeles

Amid the Flames, a Murder Probe

Smokey the Bear would not be pleased. Officials have launched an arson and homicide investigation into the Los Angeles County wildfires, the largest brush fires in county history, which tore through more than 147,000 acres, killed two firefighters, and still are not contained. Forensic evidence and incendiary material found off Angeles Crest Highway north of La Cañada Flintridge suggest that the spot is the site of origin, although the investigation is complicated because the fire burned over this point twice, making evidence collection difficult. The homicide probe is still open. The blaze could have been sparked accidentally, but investigators believe it was deliberately set. Meanwhile, the fire is currently 38 percent contained.