Atascadero brush fire possibly started by arsonist
September 4, 2015
Atascadero’s arson unit is investigating a small brush fire that broke out on Pine Mountain Wednesday evening. [Tribune]
The fire occurred on the eastern slope of the mountain near frequented hiking and mountain bike trails. The blaze burned an area approximately 20 feet by 50 feet, and it did not injure anyone or damage any buildings. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire.
Atascadero fire officials have deemed the blaze suspicious. Fire investigators ruled out mechanical or natural causes and believe the fire was started by human activity.
Fire Capt. Bill White said the fire could have been caused deliberately or accidentally. There would have been no other reason for a spontaneous combustion, White said.
Humidity on Wednesday significantly reduced the chance of a discarded cigarette starting the fire, White said. The fire captain also said off-road vehicles are not allowed on the nearby trails, and there is no overhead wiring on the mountain. Nor were there reports of lightning.