Cal Fire Points Finger at Self

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, May 26, 2010  |  Updated 4:30 PM PDT
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RAW VIDEO: Loma Fire

Dan Dawson

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RAW VIDEO: Loma Fire

Cal Fire responded in force to a fast spreading wildfire in the Santa Cruz mountains.
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Cal Fire pointed the finger at itself Wednesday, saying they are the ones who started last fall's Loma Fire in Santa Cruz County.

Investigators said it began after a hot ember from a debris pile smoldered for nine days and finally caught fire and spread last October.

CalFire was making a defensible space in the area and cleared an area they deemed at risk.  Crews made a pile of their collection that included brush, trees, grass and branches and burned it.  Something from that pile stayed hot for more than a week and sparked the Loma Fire, according to CalFire.

The ember sparked the fire at Loma Prieta Way and Summit Road on Oct. 25.  Before crews could stop it, it charred nearly 485 acres of land.  It also destroyed a mobile home, four recreational vehicles, seven outbuildings and one vehicle, according to CalFire.

The fire also forced hundreds of Santa Cruz Mountains resident to evacuate their homes.

CalFire said it normally doesn't release a cause until after it goes through a district attorney's office, but they wanted to let the public know that it was in fact their fault.

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