In 2018, California was the victim of the largest forest fire in its history. The “Ranch Fire” started on July 27, 2018 and traveled nearly 13 kilometers. On its own, it burned 1,660 km² across the counties of Mendocino, Colusa, Glenn and Lake.
As you can see in the video at the head of the article, an investigation was initiated by the California Department of Forests and Fire Protection to understand the origin of this gigantic fire. And Wednesday, June 5, 2019, this department has finally revealed the cause of this forest fire, a simple hammer.
According to the report of the department, this fire was, in fact, triggered by the owner of a land at Potter Valley. To install a barrier, he struck a picket with a hammer and the blows of this hammer created a spark that was enough to light tall grass nearby. The wind was strong and the air was dry, feeding the fire, which quickly became out of control.
From this innocuous event was born the largest fire in California’s history, which, along with another smaller fire, burned 280 buildings and cost the life of a Utah firefighter.
The person behind the fire was not identified, but the California Department of Forests and Fire Protection explained that it would not be prosecuted anyway since it was was an accident.
According to climate scientist Daniel Swain, this discovery demonstrates the impossibility of eliminating all sources of fire in high-risk areas.