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Who's the Fire Starter?

by Sarah Handel
Oct 30, 2007

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Sarah Handel

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Whenever I hear news of a wildfire breaking out, my first assumption is that it was some sort of accident, an unfortunate and unpredictable combination of an innocent spark flying off of a piece of machinery and a particularly dry season. As authorities in California consider to search for a white Ford truck in connection with one of the largest fires, though, it seems I should know better. Most fires may not be set deliberately, but there are enough that are to inject a degree of skepticism into my assumption. So what motivates an arsonist? Control freak that I am, the thought of setting things in motion that I'll never be able to manage makes fire-starting sound darn scary to me... but that's clearly not true for everyone.

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