October 27th, 2007 05:08 EST
FBI, Reward Offered in California Arson Investigation
We need your help: one of the fires devastating Southern California since Sunday was deliberately set, the Orange County Fire Authority has determined.
If you have any information about the fire that originated at Santiago and Silverado Canyons, please call the fire authority tip line immediately at (800) 540-8282. A reward of $150,000 is being offered—with $50,000 of that total pledged by the FBI—for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
Our role. We’re lending our help and expertise to the Orange County Fire Authority, the ATF, and other agencies, with some 18 agents, analysts, and other experts providing various forms of support in Los Angeles and nationwide. We are assisting in the technical aspects of the investigation, including establishing a time line, gathering evidence at the scene, analyzing video and photographs, examining key records, and gathering other information and records.
We’re also supporting the overall response to the wildfires in other ways:
- In San Diego, where seven different fires have burned more than 400,000 acres, we’ve set up a toll-free hotline—1-800-CALL FBI—for the public to report scams related to the wildfires. It’s a preventative step: we’ve seen criminals prey on the generosity and compassion of Americans following major disasters many times before. See our press release for advice on giving and other ways to report fraud to us.
- We set up a command post in San Diego to monitor the wildfire situation and its potential impact on our operations and to account for all of our employees, including non-FBI officers serving on our various task forces. Three of our employees have lost their homes, but thankfully, no one has been injured.
- In a related effort, FBI Computer Scientist Teddy Lindsey created a unique geo-location system to help identify more than 500 FBI employees' homes that were being threatened by the wildfires in San Diego. Lindsey took off-the-shelf technology and integrated it with sophisticated thermal imaging data which resulted in a way to also help emergency response teams and other FBI-related assistance efforts. This mapping system was shared with the County Sheriffs’ department to support their emergency services personnel.
For details on information and services being provided by the government in response to the California fires, please visit the USA.gov website.
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