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Northern California fire sparked by faulty electric fence

Northern California fire sparked by faulty electric fence
A firefighting air tanker drops fire retardant near a structure ahead of the County fire, which authorities say was caused by an improperly installed electric livestock fence. The blaze has scorched 90,000 acres in Yolo and Napa counties. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

A fire that has scorched 90,000 acres in Yolo and Napa counties in Northern California in the last two weeks was caused by an improperly installed electric livestock fence on private property, state fire officials said Wednesday.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the responsible party had been cited under the state’s public resources code for “burning the lands of another.”

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A spokesman for Cal Fire did not say who owned or operated the faulty fence, what was wrong with the fencing or what consequences they could face as a result of the citation. Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said a report on the fire has been turned over to the Yolo County district attorney’s office.

The prosecutor’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.

The County fire began June 30 in the rural community of Guinda, about 45 miles northwest of Sacramento.

Winds pushed the flames west into Lake and Napa counties, and authorities significantly increased the area under mandatory evacuations to include a sparsely populated area of rugged terrain from Lake Berryessa to California 89, about 25 miles away.

The blaze burned in tall grass, brush and dense oak.

Satellite imagery from the National Weather Service and photos posted on social media showed winds carried the smoke 75 miles into the Bay Area, blanketing the region in an eerie yellow haze in the first days of the fire.

About 20 structures have been destroyed by the fire, according to Cal Fire. As of Wednesday, the fire was 86% contained.

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