World
Man charged with arson amid raging California fires
Publish Date: May 17, 2014
Man charged with arson amid raging California fires
Scorched hills surround firefighters and a hilltop house after it saved from the Cocos fire on Friday in San Marcos, California. PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images
  • mail
  • img
newvision

LOS ANGELES - A 57 year-old man was charged Friday with starting one of the several fires tearing across southern California that has killed at least one person, local police said.

The man, identified as Alberto Serrato, was allegedly seen stoking the flames of a small fire in the town of Oceanside on Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty to arson charges, Lieutenant Val Saadat of the city's police department said.

Serrato, who was arrested after he tried to flee, faces up to seven years in prison if found guilty of starting the fire that destroyed some five square miles of land.

Firefighters late Friday battled blazes caused by nine active fires that have seen thousands of people evacuated over the past three days.

According to a spokesman for the seaside town of Carlsbad, weekend weather conditions are favorable for controlling the fires, with higher humidity and winds at around 5 miles per hour (8 kilometers per hour).

Carlsbad firefighters found a badly burned body in a transient camp engulfed by raging wildfires late Thursday, the only death to have been reported so far.

Meanwhile strong seasonal Santa Ana winds whipped up so-called "firenados" -- columns of rapidly rotating flames -- at the height of the crisis, which saw thousands of firefighters battling the blazes.

One of the worst hit areas was San Marcos, 15 miles inland from Carlsbad, which is north of the far south-western US city of San Diego.

On Friday, the fire there had more than doubled in size overnight to more than 3,000 acres.

But cooling temperatures meant firefighters were more hopeful of bringing that blaze and others under control.

California and other western US states are routinely hit with wildfires during the summer and fall, but blazes have occurred earlier in the year in recent times.

So many blazes in mid-May is rare and coincides with a number of decades-old records for mid-May temperatures having been broken or equaled.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Mexico governor steps down over student disappearances
The governor of the Mexican state where 43 students vanished a month ago following a confrontation with police allegedly linked to a major drug cartel has bowed to pressure to stand down....
A doctor who recently returned to New York from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive on Thursday for the deadly virus, the first confirmed case in the city, officials said....
Missing Mexico journalist found shot dead
THE editor of an investigative magazine in violence-wracked northwestern Mexico who disappeared two weeks ago was found dead with gunshot wounds...
Bashir calls opponents for talks
SUDAN'S President Omar al-Bashir has urged opponents to join him in 'national dialogue' talks, days after it was announced he would be seeking re-election...
Mexico says mayor, wife were behind student-teacher disappearances
A Mexican mayor and his wife were "probable masterminds" behind the disappearance of 43 student-teachers last month in the restive southwest, the country's attorney general said on Wednesday....
Canada PM vows crackdown after capital shocked by fatal attacks
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to redouble the country's fight against "terrorist organizations" abroad after a reported convert to Islam rampaged through parliament, shocking the usually tranquil capital city....
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter