September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Cal Fire: River Fire that started at campground near Colfax was human caused

Wildfire Watch

COLFAX, Calif. (KTXL) – Investigators have determined that a wildfire that began in early August at a campground near Colfax and later destroyed 142 structures was human caused.

The River Fire started the afternoon of Aug. 4 at an overnight camping area at the Bear River Campground, a spokesperson with Cal Fire reported Friday.

That day, Justin Ward, who lives in the Colfax area, told FOX40 he was hiking near Rollins Lake when he saw a monstrous wall of flames and smoke.

“There were trees exploding right in front of us,” Ward said. 

Thousands from Placer and Nevada counties were forced to flee their homes and two Colfax schools rushed students to safety as the blaze burned nearby.

By the time it was fully contained on Aug. 13, the fire had burned a total of 2,619 acres.

Four people, including two firefighters, were injured.

Cal Fire is still investigating the details of the River Fire’s cause.

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