SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. — A faulty catalytic converter was to blame for nearly 800 acres burning in Shasta County.
In the latest update from Cal Fire, the Cow Fire was 65% contained. The fire started off Highway 44 and South Cow Creek Road, southeast of Millville, on Sunday, June 20. Since then, it's burned 761 acres.
Cal Fire stated in its report that the cause of the fire is from the "failure of a vehicle's catalytic converter."
Since the fire started, two structures were damaged, and one firefighter was injured.
"Firefighters continue to strengthen and increase containment lines," the Cal Fire report said. "Residents are asked to use caution when driving in the fire area as emergency personnel and apparatus continue working."
According to Cal Fire, 2020 was one of the most severe fire seasons on record as 9,917 wildfires burned 4.2 million acres. Over 9,000 structures were destroyed, and 31 people (civilians and firefighters) were killed.
California also experienced its first "Gigafire" because of the August Complex Fire, burning over 1 million acres by itself. Four of California's top five largest wildfires in state history happened in 2020.
If you live in a wildfire-prone zone, Cal Fire suggests creating a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation and other debris are completely cleared. At least 100 feet is recommended.
The Department of Homeland Security suggests assembling an emergency kit that has important documents, N95 respirator masks, supplies to grab with you if you’re forced to leave at a moment’s notice. The agency also suggests signing up for local warning system notifications and know your community’s evacuation plans best to prepare yourself and your family in cases of wildfires.
Some counties use Nixle alerts to update residents on severe weather, wildfires, and other news. To sign up, visit www.nixle.com or text your zip code to 888777 to start receiving alerts.
PG&E customers can also subscribe to alerts via text, email, or phone call. If you're a PG&E customer, visit the Profile & Alerts section of your account to register.
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