LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Prosecutors declined Friday to charge two teenage boys who caused a wildfire that tore through the hills near the famous Hollywood sign in March.
Deputy District Attorney Jean M. Daly cited insufficient evidence that the boys, who are from Illinois and were not identified because they are minors, ``consciously disregarded the risk'' of causing a wildfire.
The boys, ages 16 and 17, were hiking in the hills March 30 when one found a lighter and set twigs on fire, Daly said in a document released by the prosecutor's office.
They quickly put it out and returned to a corporate housing complex in the area. The teens and a security guard for the complex, who spoke with them and then examined the area, thought the fire was out, Daly said.
The fire began next to the complex and spread rapidly up a brush-covered hillside before being contained about three hours later. The blaze spread to only 150 acres but attracted attention as smoke roiled into the sky behind the sign.
Authorities said boys later told police they caused the fire. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters they were visiting Los Angeles with their parents.