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After many years of increasing arson losses from a variety of sources in the early 1990s, the number of reported arson fires decreased annually from 85,500 in 1996 to only 31,500 in 2005. Many of these were church fires, and hardly a month passes without one suspected arson fire of a church, synagogue, or school being reported in the Firehouse magazine’s Fire Wire column, which lists the month’s major fires. Another increasing area of arson is the forest and wildfire arena, which can cause the destruction of homes and businesses in surrounding areas.

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