Fire at Calif. S.P. Started by 'Target Shooting'
Officials said Thursday (Sept. 12) that target shooting sparked a fire that burned nearly 5 square miles in a San Francisco Bay Area wilderness park and forced the evacuation of 100 homes.
The Associated Press reported that the announcement was meant to remind recreational users that "the tiniest of sparks can cause a wildfire that can easily grow to be the size of this fire," state fire spokeswoman Tina Rose said.
The Morgan Fire at Mount Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County was 90% contained. Officials estimated that fighting the fire cost about $4 million.
Officials have said the nearly month-old Rim Fire, which has burned nearly 400 square miles in and around Yosemite National Park, was caused by a hunter. It is 80% contained, with full containment expected Sept. 20.
In the hours before fire crews were able to corral a wildfire in rural far Northern California, wind-driven flames fueled by dry grass and brush tore through communities at an estimated 500 acres an hour, giving residents just minutes to grab what they could and escape.
Sixty-eight residences were destroyed, officials said Thursday, nearly doubling the initial estimate of home losses in Shasta County from the Clover Fire, which began three days earlier around the community of Igo about 150 miles north of Sacramento. Authorities warned that the number could rise further.