Vehicle sparks caused Yosemite wildfire

Oct 9, 2014 6:45 PM by News Staff

APPLEGATE, Calif. (AP) - Yosemite National Park officials say sparks from a vehicle caused a wildfire that led to the death of an air-tanker pilot this week.

Yosemite said in a statement Thursday afternoon that fire investigators determined that the blaze broke out because of hot metal fragments from a vehicle creating sparks.

Investigators had not determined what type of vehicle or what part may have caused the sparks.

They say it could be trailer safety chains dragging on pavement, brake parts generating a spark, or some other source.

Within a few hours of the blaze breaking out Tuesday, a state fire air tanker crashed into a canyon wall, killing 62-year-old pilot Geoffrey "Craig" Hunt of San Jose.

The fire had burned 420 acres and was 20 percent contained Thursday.

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