Sonora, CA — The Forest Service is reporting that continued favorable weather allowed firefighters to make excellent progress in fire line construction close to the Sand Flat fire´s edge, increasing the containment estimate to 95 percent.
Provided those favorable conditions continue, full containment is expected by 6:00 p.m. today, with full control of the fire possible by the end of the week. The fire is located on the Stanislaus National Forest, 20 miles east of Pinecrest.
Today, firefighters will continue to improve fire lines in the steep and rugged terrain. Once the fire line is complete, crews will begin mopping-up hot spots inside the containment line, and complete fire line erosion control measures on steep terrain.
The fire investigation team has positively identified the cause and origin of the Sand Flat fire. Whoever originally created the fire attempted to put out the fire by throwing dirt or sand on top of the fire.
With current hot, dry conditions and the sometimes windy weather that the Forest has been experiencing, it appears that this fire rekindled after a day or two and escaped to burn national forest land.
Stanislaus Forest fire investigators are now requesting the assistance of the public in locating the person or persons that caused the fire. Anyone who was in the area of the Clark Fork Horse Camp on September 2nd or 3rd and who may have information on the origin of the Sand Flat fire is requested to contact Forest Service Patrol Captain Jay Power at (209) 532-3671.
Written by Sabrina Sabbagh