YUBA COUNTY, Calif. — (The video above is an older video from when the Willow Fire started)
A wildfire that burned more than 1,000 acres and destroyed multiple buildings in Yuba County was started by arson, according to Cal Fire Law Enforcement Officers.
The Willow Fire first sparked just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9. It would go on to destroy 1,311 acres of land and approximately 11 structures, including homes. A Cal Fire investigation led officers to discover the cause of the wildfire to be arson. Now officers are asking for the public's help seeking information on the person, or people, who are responsible for starting the Willow Fire.
So far this year, Cal Fire has arrested 81 people for arson across the state of California, according to a Facebook post from the department. Fifty eight of those arrests have been connected to wildland fires.
If you have any information, contact the Cal Fire Arson Hotline at 1-800-468-4408. Callers can remain anonymous.
"Residents should be vigilant in their preparedness and aware of suspicious persons when a fire does start," Cal Fire said in a press release. "Suspicious activity should be reported including the time, individual’s physical description, and a vehicle description, including a license plate number."
According to Cal Fire, in 2019, California wildfires burned just under 260,000 acres from 7,860 incidents. Over 700 structures were damaged or destroyed and three people were killed. This follower two years of some of the “deadliest and most destructive wildfires” in California history.
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 to best prepare yourself and your family in cases of wildfires.
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