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CAL Fire Determines Cause Of Algerine Fire

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Jamestown, CA — We reported earlier that a two-acre fire ignited shortly before noon on Monday in the 11000 block of Algerine Road in Jamestown.

Officials have determined that it was sparked by a lawnmower. CAL Fire notes that creating defensible space is very important, but doing the work with the correct tool, at the right time, is critical. Mowers are designed for green lawns and not dry native weeds and grasses. The person responsible for the fire has been issued a citation.

More information from CAL Fire about safely using equipment can be found below:

Here’s how to do it the right way

Mow before 10 a.m., but never when it’s windy or excessively dry. Lawnmowers are designed to mow lawns, not weeds or dry grass. Metal blades striking rocks can create sparks and start fires. Use caution.

Spark Arresters

In wildland areas, spark arresters are required on all portable gasoline-powered equipment. This includes tractors, harvesters, chainsaws, weed-eaters and mowers.

Keep the exhaust system, spark arresters and mower in proper working order and free of carbon buildup.
Use the recommended grade of fuel and don’t top it off.

Equipment Use

In wildland areas, grinding and welding operations require a permit and 10 feet of clearance. Keep a shovel and a fire extinguisher ready to use.

Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires that you won’t even see – until it’s too late!

Keep a cell phone nearby and call 911 immediately in case of fire.


To protect water quality, do not clear vegetation near waterways to bare soil. Vegetation removal can cause soil erosion especially on steep slopes. Always keep soil disturbance to a minimum.