Cal Fire: Chariot Fire sparked by BLM truck

An East County wildfire that destroyed 149 structures while blackening 7,055 acres began when a Bureau of Land Management vehicle ignited dry vegetation underneath it, Cal Fire announced Friday.

Last month, an attorney representing dozens people who lost cabins in the fire told 10News that it was started by a BLM Jeep Wrangler. Jon Fiske has filed claim against the BLM.

"We've hired experts and we've done an investigation," Fiske said in an April interview. "We believe that a Bureau of Land Management Jeep, driven by a Bureau of Land Management officer, started the fire..."

At the time, neither Cal Fire or the BLM would comment on the claims.
The Chariot Fire began just before 1 p.m. July 6, 2013, near Butterfield Ranch Resort and the Great Southern Overland Stage Route on land managed by the BLM, according to Cal Fire.
It took 10 days for more than 2,100 firefighters to contain the blaze using ground and air attacks.

"It is critical that everyone be extra cautious outdoors with any activity that may cause a spark," Cal Fire Southern Region Chief Dale Hutchinson said in a statement released this morning. "This year especially we need the public to remember that one less spark means one less wildfire."
No major injuries occurred as a result of the Chariot Fire but a dozen firefighters were treated for minor injuries, mostly heat exhaustion, according to Cal Fire.
The majority of the structures lost were campground cabins in the Mount Laguna area.

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