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Sheriff's Office: Boy, 14, admits to setting LA-area wildfire

By Rick Martin, CNN
  • Sheriff's Office:The boy told authorities he dropped a lighter
  • Another adults is cited for interfering with fire personnel
  • The fire burns 40 acres about 40 miles north of Los Angeles

(CNN) -- A 14-year-old boy has admitted to setting a wildfire that burned 40 acres and threatened about 50 homes in Santa Clarita, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office said.

The boy told authorities he was smoking marijuana when he dropped a barbecue lighter in the dry bush, said Deputy Sheriff Benjamin Grubb.

Initially, authorities detained several people in connection with the wildfire about 40 miles north of Los Angeles. The fire began burning early Sunday afternoon, and was knocked down a few hours later.

Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Frederic Stowers told CNN two 14-year-old boys and a 16 year-old boy were spotted running from the fire's point of origin and were detained and questioned.

Deputy Sheriff Benjamin Grubb said one of the 14-year-old was booked on suspicion of arson after he admitted to setting the wildfire.

Grubb added that one adult was cited and released for interfering with fire personnel.

"They asked him to move and he didn't," Grubb said.