Author Kurt Kamm writes about fires and firefighters. A resident of Malibu, he has lived through several wildland fires. He is a regular visitor at the fire camps, stations and training academies of the L.A. County Fire Department and CalFire. He writes:
Imagine an arson investigator arriving at a wildland fire which has already burned 100 acres. He has to determine whether it was an incendiary (intentional) fire, and if so, where and how it was started. This is not like walking into a building where arson is suspected. A building has a limited space, with interior walls, and if it was an arson fire, somewhere within those walls, or right outside, burn indicators and evidence will be found. In the wildland, there is a lot of acreage to cover….
Additional investigative support comes from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The ATF has the mandate to investigate all church fires in the US, and provides Certified Fire Investigators to assist in the legal and technical investigations of arson fires and to provide expert witnesses. In California, once fire investigators determine that arson has been committed, the Sheriff’s bomb and arson unit may take over the investigation. Fire department investigators tend to have specific expertise in analyzing wildland arson and work closely with the Sheriff’s Department.
For more, see http://www.kurtkamm.com/