Lucian Deaton

The motivation of urban and wildland arsonists

Blog Post created by Lucian Deaton Employee on Aug 19, 2016

la-1471554325-snap-photo, Adam Weidmann - EPA, pulled 19 Aug 16.jpgWhile 90% of wildfires are human-caused, the vast majority of these are not intentionally set.  The few percentage that are ignited by arsonists raises an interesting question for me, why?

 

An article in today’s Sacramento Bee explores the motivations of arsonists and in its interview with a former arson investigator, explains the differences between urban arsonists and wildfire arsonists.  It is a very interesting piece and I encourage you to give it a read.

 

Wildfire “arson” isn’t forgotten camp fires or sparks from target practice bullets, but the real act of lighting a cigarette taped to a book of matches and walking away on a hot afternoon.  The motivation for this, explored in the article, is not as clear-cut as you may think.

 

The current Clayton Fire in Lake County, California, northwest of Sacramento, is believed to be arson caused and a suspect was arraigned earlier this week.  According to CalFire reports, 300 structures have been destroyed in the fire; including 190 single-family homes, 8 commercial structures, and 102 other structures like sheds.

 

The accused is also believed to have been involved in 16 other fire starts since last July.

 


Photo Credit: la-1471554325-snap-photo, Adam Weidmann - EPA, pulled 19 Aug 16, In pretty Lake County, an arson fire lays out some ugly realities - LA Times

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