Man pleads not guilty to arson in California fire
Sat, 17 May 2014 16:50:51 GMT —
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Thousands of firefighters resume their battle today against wildfires that have raced through nearly 20,000 acres of brush land in California's San Diego County. They'll be aided by fleets of water-dropping military and civilian helicopters.
But most of the fires seem to be dying down, after burning at least eight homes and an 18-unit condominium complex.
A 57-year-old man has been charged with arson in one of the fires. Alberto Serrato pleaded not guilty Friday in connection with a 105-acre fire in suburban Oceanside - one of the smaller fires. The fire started Wednesday and is fully contained.
Tanya Sierra, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County district attorney's office, says Serrato wasn't seen igniting a fire but witnesses saw him adding dead brush onto smoldering bushes that flamed up. The spokeswoman says he has not been connected to any other fire.
Meanwhile, Marine Corps officials have lifted an evacuation order for some Camp Pendleton housing although fires that have burned about 34 square miles of brush continue to rage. Several camp areas and an infantry school remain under evacuation.