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Cal Fire Says Bernardo Fire Sparked By 'Powered Equipment Use'

The sun is shown through thick smoke along Interstate 15 near Rancho Bernardo, May 14, 2014.
Patty Lane
The sun is shown through thick smoke along Interstate 15 near Rancho Bernardo, May 14, 2014.

Cal Fire's Daniel Berlant tweets about the cause of the 1,600-acre Bernardo Fire, May 16, 2014.

The first big wildfire to erupt in San Diego County this week amid red flag conditions was determined to be caused by "powered equipment use," according to Cal Fire's website.

Cal Fire's Daniel Berlant tweeted the so-called Bernardo Fire, which was 90 percent contained Friday, was "by powered equipment from a construction project."


The blaze torched nearly 1,600 acres of brush west of Black Mountain between around 11 a.m. Tuesday and early Wednesday, according to Cal Fire. It began off Nighthawk Lane, southwest of Rancho Bernardo, and has been held steady at nearly 1,600 acres since Wednesday morning, the state firefighting agency reported.

Three minor injuries have been reported as a result of the Bernardo Fire but no structures were lost, though thousands were evacuated at the height of the incident. All evacuation orders were lifted Tuesday night.

City and county officials credited a "cooperative'' attack by first responders and other emergency personnel for the lack of structural losses.

As the day went on Wednesday, several of those first responders and other emergency personnel were diverted to other fires that kept sprouting up in the county. Among them were significant fires in Carlsbad and San Marcos that resulted in damaged or destroyed homes.

The cause of the Bernardo Fire was under investigation.


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