Fire burns through rugged terrain, making the Mendocino Complex Fires the largest in California history, in Lake County, Calif., on Aug. 9, 2019. (Photo by Laurie Pearson/Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow)

California’s Largest Wildfire Was Caused by a Hammer, CalFire Says

The largest wildfire in California history was an accident started by a claw hammer.

Cal Fire said Thursday that the Ranch Fire last July began when a property owner in Potter Valley, in Mendocino County, was hammering a metal stake into the ground to install a shade barrier. The hammering created a spark that lit up vegetation on the ground. Winds were strong, conditions were dry and the fire grew out of control.

The fire eventually burned a total of 410,203 acres across Mendocino, Colusa, Glenn and Lake counties, making it the largest fire in state history in terms of acreage. The Ranch Fire burned 280 homes and other buildings and left a firefighter from Utah dead.

Read more at the Sacramento Bee

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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