BANGOR, Calif. – Cal Fire investigators determined the cause of a small fire that burned nearly three acres of grass and oak woodland off Oro Bangor Highway July 9.
Authorities said it was caused by a riding lawnmower blade hitting a rock, which created a spark. The responsible party was mowing in the afternoon without adequate water supply or a firefighting tool being present, which is required when operating equipment within state responsibility area lands.
Cal Fire law enforcement said a citation was issued to the responsible party. Crews suggest if you're going to mow or use any powered equipment outdoors, you must finish working by 10 a.m., and never on a windy day.
The fire started around 12:30 p.m. July 9. Fire crews quickly got to it with a bulldozer, two air tankers, and four engines. Fire officials say conditions were in their favor. Residents said they were surprised it was so close.
“He says, ‘hey you know you got a fire by your property,’ I said no, ran out here, seen the fire, ran in the house called 911,” said witness Oz Welch.
“We had a lot of resources that were dispatched because of the conditions,” said Cal Fire Public Information Officer, Rick Carhart. “Fortunately, the wind isn’t up right now, it’s hot but the fire wasn’t spreading very rapidly. And so we were able to get all of our resources on scene.”
— CAL FIRE Butte Unit/Butte County Fire Department (@CALFIRE_ButteCo) July 9, 2020