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Generator used for marijuana cultivation sparked wildfire that destroyed 12 homes, Cal Fire says

Generator used for marijuana cultivation sparked wildfire that destroyed 12 homes, Cal Fire says
Firefighters ignite a backfire to stop the Loma fire from spreading near Morgan Hill, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. (Noah Berger / Associated Press)

A wildfire that burned more than 4,400 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains and destroyed a dozen homes was caused by a marijuana grower's portable electrical generator, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday.

The Loma fire began Sept. 26 before 3 p.m. near Casa Loma Road and sparked mandatory evacuations in Loma Prieta as it burned through 4,474 acres and destroyed 12 homes and 16 other buildings before it was fully contained Oct. 12.

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At its peak, nearly 2,000 firefighters were battling the blaze.

Fire investigators narrowed the source of the fire to one of three portable generators, officials said in a statement. The agency added that the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is investigating the legality of the marijuana operation.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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