The wildfires that have plagued residents in the North County from late June through early July were all unintentionally caused — likely by vehicles or mechanical equipment, according to Cal Fire.
None of the four recent fires that burned more than 2,000 acres from Atascadero past Paso Robles can be attributed to arson, according to preliminary Cal Fire reports. Some fires remain under investigation, according to a Cal Fire news release.
“It has been brought to our attention that rumors are surfacing that these fires are suspected as arson fires,” said Chris Elms, a Cal Fire spokesman, in a statement. “While we acknowledge the fact that the fires have been frequent and unnerving, none of the fires in San Luis Obispo County have evidence to support arson as a cause.”
The release lists the following causes for the four fires:
▪ Hill Fire: Started June 26 off Parkhill Road near Santa Margarita. Burned 1,598 acres and was likely caused by a vehicle fire that spread into vegetation.
▪ Tower Fire: Started Friday off northbound Highway 101 near the Cuesta Grade summit. Burned 68 acres and was caused by a vehicle fire that spread into vegetation.
▪ Stone Fire: Started Sunday off Highway 58 near Santa Margarita. Burned 340 acres and was likely caused by mechanical equipment being used to clear brush.
▪ Spring Fire: Started Tuesday off Highway 101 from Atascadero to San Miguel. Burned 15 acres and was likely caused by hot car exhaust.
Cal Fire encourages motorists to check their vehicles prior to driving to make sure tires are properly inflated and there are no mechanical deficiencies or dragging chains.