Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Illegal campfire sparked huge Big Sur-area wildfire

A devastating coastal California wildfire that’s destroyed 57 homes and caused the death of a bulldozer driver was sparked by an illegal campfire, authorities said Tuesday as they asked for help finding the culprit. Whoever built and then abandoned the fire around July 22 in the Garrapata State Park could face criminal and civil penalties for sparking the blaze, which has now burned more than 43,000 acres near Carmel, Big Sur and the Pebble Beach golf resort. Authorities said hikers who reported the fire had to first climb up to a ridge top to get mobile phone reception. “We understand the devastation and hardship this incident has caused,” CALFIRE Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox said. “We appeal for anyone who was in the area of origin to please come forward and give any information they have, no matter how inconsequential they may believe it to be. It could be instrumental in this investigation.” The campfire was started about two miles from the main road, in an area closed to camping, state parks officials said...more

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