Cause of Mountain Fire Pinpointed
CAL FIRE INVESTIGATORS DETERMINE CAUSE OF “MOUNTAIN FIRE”
Riverside - CAL FIRE Investigators have determined the cause of the “Mountain Fire” to be an electrical equipment failure on private property. The electrical equipment failure occurred on the customer side of the meter. No further details will be released as this remains an on-going investigation.
The “Mountain Fire” was reported at 1:43 PM on July 15, 2013 near the junction of Highway 243 and Highway 74. It burned east of Mountain Center, through the Apple Canyon and Bonita Vista areas, and then along the Desert Divide and southern portion of the San Jacinto Wilderness. At one point the fire’s spread and intensity forced the evacuation of several mountain communities, including Mountain Center, Idyllwild, Fern Valley, and Pine Cove. Seven residential dwellings and 15 other structures were destroyed by the fire.
CAL FIRE and the United States Forest Service/San Bernardino National Forest have been in unified command of the fire. More than 3,400 firefighting personnel from fire agencies throughout the state battled the fire with assistance from the following cooperating agencies; Riverside County Fire Department, Idyllwild Fire Protection District, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County Office of Emergency Services (OES), California Highway Patrol (CHP), American Red Cross, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California State Parks- San Jacinto State Park, California Conservation Corps (CCC), Riverside County Department of Transportation, Riverside County Flood Control, Lake Hemet Municipal Water District, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Southern California Edison, Idyllwild Water District, Fern Valley Water District and Pine Cove Water District.
As of 8:00 AM today the San Bernardino National Forest has assumed command of the fire and firefighters remain on the fireline to contain, mop-up, and control the fire.