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The Madera Tribune

Hunter caused devastating Rim Fire, authorities say

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webmaster | 09/06/13

A team of investigators pointed the finger at a hunter’s illegal campfire Thursday as the cause of the fourth-largest wildfire in California history, debunking rumors that illicit marijuana-growing operations were to blame for the blaze.

There was no indication the hunter — who was not arrested and whose name has not been released by authorities — was involved with illegal marijuana cultivation, the team from the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Investigations and Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office said in a release.

The Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on an ongoing investigation, and personnel within forest service law enforcement did not return phone calls to speak on evidence they obtained or why the hunter’s name was not released.

The campfire, allegedly started about three miles east of the Sierra foothill town of Groveland on Aug. 17, quickly exploded into one of the largest infernos in California history and the nation’s top firefighting priority...


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