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Cal Fire releases cause of McMillan Fire that burned more than 1,700 acres near Shandon

How to prepare for and avoid starting wildfires in SLO County

Cal Fire Deputy Chief Eric Cleveland of San Luis Obispo offers a few tips for ranch fire preparedness and talks about a mapping effort on Santa Margarita Ranch.
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Cal Fire Deputy Chief Eric Cleveland of San Luis Obispo offers a few tips for ranch fire preparedness and talks about a mapping effort on Santa Margarita Ranch.

Cal Fire officials have released the cause of the McMillan Fire, which burned more than 1,700 acres of land near Shandon.

The fire was an accident, sparked by equipment that was being used to harvest hay in the area, according to Cal Fire spokesman Clint Bullard.

“It was definitely accidental,” Bullard said Tuesday.

The fire started on the afternoon of June 12 in the area of Highway 46 east of McMillan Canyon Road. It quickly burned through hundreds of acres and forced officials to briefly close Highway 46.

Ultimately, the fire burned 1,764 acres before it reached full containment on June 13.

The McMillan fire was one of several local blazes firefighters have battled in the last few weeks.

Just a few days before the McMillan Fire broke out, crews battled six vegetation fires south of Shandon. There were also a rash of fires from Santa Margarita to Lake Nacimiento during the weekend of June 8, and a fire in California Valley burned 1,127 acres on June 5.

In addition to vegetation fires, firefighters have also fought two house fires recently.

A house fire in Heritage Ranch destroyed a two-story home, displaced a family and burned four acres of surrounding land on Monday, and a house fire in Templeton on June 13 also destroyed a home and injured one person.

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