Arson wreaks havoc

Bright side: intentional-fire numbers are dwindling

As most have heard by now, the Humboldt Fire, which tore through more than 23,500 acres, forced evacuations in Paradise and leveled 80 homes, has been ruled arson. A $10,000 reward has been offered in exchange for information regarding those who started it. In addition, state officials have offered a $150,000 reward for information regarding a person who set the biggest fire this summer in San Diego that has killed 10 people and destroyed more than a thousand homes—and three other Southern California blazes have been labeled arson. Here’s a look at arson statistics for the United States over the past decade:

YearFiresDeathsDollar loss
199876,000470$1.25 billion
200075,000505$1.34 billion
200244,500350$919 million
200436,500320$714 million
200631,000305$755 million

Source: U.S. Fire Administration