Blaze that killed two US firefighters 'was arson'

A massive blaze that killed two firefighters was arson, police said yesterday, five days after the two men died when their truck plunged 800 feet down a steep mountain road.

The fire north of Los Angeles has been burning for 10 days. Mike Bryant, Los Angeles deputy fire chief, said he was glad that investigators were making progress in the investigation, but added: "It doesn't mend my broken heart." "Those were two great men that died," he said. "We've got to put this fire out so no one else gets hurt."

Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials said they had started a homicide investigation after forensic evidence at the blaze's point of origin indicated that the wildfire – one of the largest in southern California's history – was an act of arson. They declined to elaborate on the evidence so as not to jeopardise the investigation. "We believe that this was caused by someone intending to set a fire," the sheriff's office spokesman Steve Whitmore said.