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Updated: Williams Fire Ignited By Vehicle Parked on Top of Dry Bush

Angeles National Forest reopened for recreational use.

A vehicle parked on top of dry bush is being blamed as the cause of the acres in the Angeles National Forest over the Labor Day weekend.

According to a Nathan Judy, spokesperson for the Angeles National Forest, the dry bush in a turnout was ignited by the vehicle’s hot undercarriage, resulting in a blaze that scorched 4,180 acres and cost nearly $9 million for firefighters to battle.

Judy told Patch investigators are currently trying to determine the owner of the vehicle. He said the vehicle was located in an area where dry vegetation is common.

"It was a busy holiday weekend, so people were parking wherever they could," said Judy.

Firefighters were able to , a week after the blaze erupted over the Labor Day weekend.

Up to 2,000 people were evacuated from the forest, about 50 to 75 of those people were permanent residents of the canyon.

While Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road will remain closed while crews remove debris, the San Gabriel Canyon is now open for recreational use via San Gabriel Canyon Road.

“We ask that all visitors to the forest remain aware of their surroundings and be diligent in making sure that their visit is a safe one,” according to an Angeles National Forest press release.  “Please do not park or place any hot items near dry vegetation which can ignite and result in another tragic fire.”

For more information on open recreation sites in the Angeles National Forest, call any one of the ranger district offices:

Los Angeles River Ranger District: (818) 899-1900
San Gabriel River Ranger District: (626) 335-1251
Santa Clara-Mojave Rivers Ranger District: (661) 269-2808

Paul H. September 14, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Just curious...Do we know who owned the car, and will they be responsible for the nearly nine million dollars it cost to fight the fire? Why did they park on top of dry brush? Why was a pile of dry brush there for someone to park over? Was there a roadside crew clearing brush in the area? Just asking....
Ryan September 14, 2012 at 09:28 PM
"Another tragic fire"? Would this fire fit in to the "Tragic" category? I would not think so. Seems like loss of life and significant loss of structure would be tragic. This fire just seemed to be costly.
T. L. Shryock September 15, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Wow! 9 million dollars to stimulate the local economy.
A J September 15, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Ryan, I agree. If the spokesperson had it to do over, she should have chosen a more appropriate word, like "expensive" fire.
Sandra September 15, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Well, I call the killing of wildlife MIGHTY tragic.
MellowMaverick September 15, 2012 at 08:57 PM
I might have used "careless" first rather than "tragic". But it could be both.
Ray Russell September 16, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Car in area, dry brush in area, conclusion car parked on dry brush resulting in fire! What kind of evidence is that? What caused fire? Do they really know. Or is it just supposition ? I think someone watches too much TV ( CSI).

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