SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — Investigators say the more than 2,100-acre Etiwanda Fire was sparked by an illegal campfire.
Flames broke out in Day Canyon last Wednesday, engulfing the surrounding dry vegetation and forcing the evacuation of 1,650 homes.
A spokesperson for the National Wildfire Coordinating Group said Monday investigators hiked into a remote upper portion of the canyon when conditions were deemed safe, and located evidence of an illegal campfire.
Investigators report the fire may have been smoldering for days until embers blew into a nearby bush and spread with the help of heavy winds.
Forest and fire officials are now seeking the public’s help in locating the person or persons responsible for starting the campfire.
Anyone who observed hikers or persons in the area in the week leading up to the fire is asked to call the WeTip Hotline at 800-472-7766 or to submit the tip online.
Fire officials were meanwhile still working into the evening on Monday to extinguish the blaze, which had scorched approximately 2,143 acres and was 96 percent contained.
Officials said their efforts have been assisted by lower temperatures and higher humidity.