Juveniles may be linked to Pasco wildfires

- Arson investigators are determining whether three juveniles are responsible for setting a series of brush fires in Pasco County, firefighters said Wednesday.

The fires all happened within a few blocks of each other Tuesday and were ignited in a period of eight minutes. The conditions allowed investigators to rule out everything except arson.

"By taking away known causes, everything kind of points back to -- it wasn't spontaneous combustion, I can tell you that," said Brial Prill, with the Florida Forest Service.

Adding to those suspicions: a pilot overhead saw three kids in the field where some of the fires started and they were detained by Pasco County deputies.

"They were trespassing in the area where we had three arson fires, so that's why we were able to detain them," said Pasco Fire Rescue Chief Shawn Whited. "It was definitely somebody going through the woods doing something illegal. I don't know if they were just walking throwing matches or walking and lighting a fire, I don't know what they were doing."

The fires all burned in the area of State Road 54 and Old County Road 54. There are businesses and homes nearby and Whited said it's fortunate only 32 acres of empty land burned.

"Luckily we haven't haven't had any structures lost to this date. We haven't had anybody hurt. We haven't had anybody killed. A lot of these fires across the state, people are dying. People are getting hurt," he said.

If the juveniles are responsible, they could face serious charges. 

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