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Fire Blamed on Boys Playing With Matches

May 16, 1987

An investigation has determined that two 7-year-old boys playing with matches set the brush fire that burned 200 acres Thursday in Val Verde, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Friday.

The boys, whose names were not disclosed, will not be prosecuted because of their ages, Sgt. Ron Bailey said.

Investigators were led to the pair after witnesses told them two young boys had been seen running from the fire about the time it started Thursday afternoon, Bailey said.

The wind-whipped fire burned for more than four hours and threatened 20 houses and 113 mobile homes before it was contained about 8 p.m., fire officials said.

About 225 firefighters fought the fire and three helicopters dropped water on it, fire officials said.

The boys were released to their parents at the sheriff's Santa Clarita Valley substation, Bailey said.

The county could seek to recover the firefighting costs from the parents, Sgt. Allen Humphries said.

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