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Investigators determine cause of Lawler Fire

Friday, April 6th, 2012
Issue 14, Volume 16.

RIVERSIDE – Cal Fire Investigators have determined the Jan. 8 Lawler Fire was sparked by a deep seated ember from a department hazard reduction burn pile. The hazard reduction project included the burning piles of brush cuttings that had been cleared to provide defensible space around the community of Pine Cove by Cal Fire.

The Lawler Fire was sparked by an unseasonable dry winter wind event in the project area known as Lawler Lodge off Highway 243 and Black Mountain, north of the community of Pine Cove.

The hazard reduction pile burn had last been conducted by Cal Fire three weeks Advertisement
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earlier on Dec. 19, 2011. A deep seated ember from the burn pile was fanned due to the 25 mph Santa Ana winds. 

The response to the Lawler Fire included 215 firefighters from Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire and the US Forest Service. Aggressive efforts by firefighters and the defensible space provided by the projects brush clearance aided firefighters in safely containing the fire to 15 acres during the significant winter wind event.

Every year, Cal Fire crews perform hundreds of hours of brush clearance and hazard reduction projects. The department is reviewing both statewide and local hazard reduction burning procedures.



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