California Investigating Unauthorized Fires Set by Private Firefighters

California fire officials are investigating the possibility “private firefighters” lit unauthorized backfires to protect property from the massive wildfire that has burned more than 67,000 acres and decimated 642 homes in Napa and Sonoma counties, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Last weekend, Cal Fire has received reports of backfires, according to Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

McLean said the Cal Fire investigation is ongoing, and there was nothing conclusive yet to report.

Lighting backfires is a technique used by firefighters to slow down wildfires. They are usually set on the inner edge of the fire line to burn vegetation the wildfire would otherwise feed on.

McLean said backfires must be set carefully and should account for forecast weather conditions.

“We’re all working together, we’re on the same page,” McLean told The Sacramento Bee Friday. “It’s accountability and communication.”

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