Investigation: Human actions caused Ranch Fire in El Dorado County |

Investigation: Human actions caused Ranch Fire in El Dorado County

Firefighters have determined the cause of the Ranch Fire that scorched 140 acres last month.
Courtesy of Michael Shepard via the Mountain Democrat

An investigation into the cause of the Ranch Fire that scorched over 140 acres in the Mt. Aukum area has attributed the blaze to an accidental man-made fire, according to Cal Fire officials in an incident report released Monday.

The fire affected the Mt. Aukum and Somerset areas straddling the Amador and El Dorado county line. Cooperating agencies that assisted Cal Fire in the firefighting efforts included El Dorado County Fire and the Amador Fire Protection District with a total of 15 fire engines, 10 fire crews and six water tenders used to extinguish the blaze.

“It has been determined that the Ranch Fire was caused by a person grinding metal near dry grass,” states the report issued by Cal Fire Public Information Officer Brice Bennett of the Amador – El Dorado Unit.

The person was “cited and educated,” according to Bennett.

Cal Fire reminds everyone to exercise extreme caution while operating any equipment near dry grass, and to visit for tips on safe equipment use.

The Ranch Fire started at 7531 Ranch Camp Road on July 26, with an incident report time of 1:57 in the Mt. Aukum and Somerset area. The fire is now 100 percent contained, according to Bennett.

Approximately 95 percent of all wildfires in California are caused by people, according to the Cal Fire One “Less Spark — One Less Fire” campaign.

“Whether it’s ensuring a campfire or landscape debris burn of leaves and branches is completely extinguished, or keeping a vehicle well maintained to prevent sparks, following just a few simple steps can help prevent wildfires,” according to Cal Fire’s website.