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Nation in brief: Wildfire blamed on boys with pot

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – A 14-year-old boy was booked on arson charges Sunday after deputies said he confessed to accidentally starting a 40-acre wildfire north of Los Angeles as he was trying to smoke marijuana.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said two 14-year-old boys from Saugus, in the Santa Clarita area, were detained just after the fire that briefly threatened about 50 homes was knocked down Sunday afternoon.

Parker said one of the boys was released after the other boy said he started the fire when he dropped a barbecue lighter as he was trying to light a pot pipe.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The search for two men who escaped from a private Arizona prison and their suspected accomplice has turned to the vast Yellowstone National Park area after one of the inmates was linked to a double homicide in New Mexico and efforts to find them intensified.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Sunday information developed within the past two days indicates Tracy Province, John McCluskey and Casslyn Welch may be hiding in portions of the park that span Montana and Wyoming. The agency also said investigators believe Province has separated from McCluskey and Welch.

It doesn’t appear any of the three are expert campers or have wilderness survival skills, said Thomas Henman, supervisory deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service in Phoenix.

Also, U.S. authorities have advised the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that the suspects may try to cross into Canada, Henman said.

The manhunt intensified Saturday after forensic evidence linked at least one of the inmates to the killings of an Oklahoma couple who were traveling through eastern New Mexico earlier this week.


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