Photo: NOAH BERGER / AFP/Getty Images
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This story originally appeared on KCRA.
MENDOCINO COUNTY, Calif. (KCRA) — Investigators have determined the cause of the Ranch Fire that burned through Colusa, Glenn, Lake and Mendocino counties in July 2018, Cal Fire officials said Thursday.
Cal Fire investigators said in a press release that the Ranch Fire was caused by a “spark or hot metal fragments landing in a receptive fuel bed.”
They added that the spark or hot metal fragment came from a hammer that was driving a metal stake into the ground, but so far no charges have been filed.
The Ranch Fire burned a total of 410,203 acres, resulted in one firefighter fatality, three firefighter injuries and destroyed 280 structures. It is the largest wildland fire in California history when measured by acres burned, officials said.
The Ranch Fire was one of the two fires that made up the Mendocino Complex Fire. Together, both fires burned 459,123 acres.
According to Cal Fire, the fire was able to spread rapidly in Mendocino County due to a mix of dry vegetation, strong winds, low humidity and hot temperatures.