Smoldering Embers From Original Canyon Fire Blamed For Sequel

ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — Embers still smoldering from the original Canyon Fire were fingered as the cause of the second fire in the Anaheim area, officials said Monday.

Canyon Fire 2 was actually sparked the morning of Oct. 9 by embers from a smoldering clump of oak within the original Canyon Fire burn area, and not by a small blaze spotted the previous night of the fire, Anaheim fire Chief Randy Bruegman said.

Those embers were then carried by Santa Ana winds about 60 to 80 feet into unburned vegetation, touching off Canyon Fire 2, which ultimately burned more than 9,000 acres, according to Bruegman.

The statement comes in response to one critic who alleges the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) ignored a report of flames in the original Canyon Fire burn area the night of Oct. 8, a claim OCFA officials have vehemently denied.

“That fire had no relationship to the Canyon 2 Fire,” Bruegman said, adding the flames spotted Oct. 8 in the Sierra Peak area were “several miles” from the flashpoint of Canyon Fire 2.

The original Canyon Fire – which erupted Sept. 25 and ultimately burned about 2,600 acres – was later determined to have been linked to a road flare deployed by a Caltrans sweeper train crew.

According to Bruegman, based on witness statements, the flare was likely struck by a vehicle, sending it spinning into a shrub along the Riverside (91) Freeway near Coal Canyon.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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