McCain defends illegal immigrant wildfire comments

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PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Senator John McCain Monday defended his comment from this weekend that illegal immigrants likely sparked Arizona's wildfires.

McCain made the remark following a tour of the Wallow Fire burn area. But when asked to clarify, McCain couldn't specify which fires he was referring to.

Monday he claimed he meant the fires near the border, not the Wallow Fire.

"I mentioned the situation of forest fires that may have been set by illegal immigrants because i had just been briefed on that issue by one of the senior forest service personnel that day.  And it is an issue that's been around since 2006 when the Forest Service testified before Congress that there were fires being set by illegal immigrants."

The senator says the Forest Service gave him three reasons illegal immigrants may start fires, to signal others, keep warm, or divert law enforcement.