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Wildfire near LA half contained as authorities seek arsonist
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A massive wildfire that have destroyed dozens of homes north of Los Angeles and led to the deaths of two firefighters were half contained Sunday, and a full containment is expected for September 15, authorities said.

Meanwhile, authorities were working to find the arsonist responsible for the Station Fire, which started to burn in the Angeles National Forest August 26, after California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger offered a 100,000-dollar reward for information leading to the fire starter.

Investigators have said an accelerant was found near the point of origin, about 50 kilometers north of downtown Los Angeles.

The huge fire, which has burned more than 600 square kilometers and destroyed at least 76 homes and other structures, ranked the largest wildfire in history of Los Angeles County and the 10th largest in California's modern history, fire officials said Sunday.

Two firefighters of the Los Angeles County Fire Department died one week ago when their vehicle plunged about 200 meters over the side of road near a fire camp.

Thousands of firefighters from across the state were still working on the fire lines during the Labor Day holiday weekend, and the fire remained active on its southeastern flank overnight, according to a Sunday morning update by the U.S. Forest Service.

The Station Fire, which so far has cost about 43.5 million dollars to battle, is projected to be fully contained by September 15, but firefighters could get it surrounded a few days before that with cooler weather conditions expected in coming days.

(Xinhua News Agency September 7, 2009)

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