CAL FIRE Law Enforcement officers have determined that the cause of one of the two fires, which grew together to become known as the Rocky Fire, was the result of the failure of a gas water heater in an outbuilding that contained flammable liquids.
The fire went on to burn almost 70,000 acres, destroying 43 homes, before it was fully contained last week. The outbuilding fire caught nearby vegetation on fire, and the flames quickly spread to the surrounding area, according to CAL FIRE’s news release.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection investigators determined that the fire originated from a faulty water heater in a property’s outbuilding on Morgan Valley Road. And the cause of the second fire remains under investigation.
The Rocky fire started July 29 west of Lower Lake.
Firefighters had the almost 2-week-old Jerusalem fire in Lake County 97 percent contained on Friday and continued to work on fire lines and fire suppression within the perimeter, officials said. As of Tuesday, the Jerusalem Fire is 95 percent contain but has burned more than 25,000 acres and destroyed 9 homes.
California’s extreme four-year drought continues to be a threat, leading to fire prone conditions, Cal Fire reminds residents, and urges them to take all precautions to avoid sparking a wildfire.