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Failing Catalytic Converter Blamed For String Of Vegetation Fires

Valley Springs, Ca — CAL Fire Officials believe they know the cause of a string of 10 vegetation fires erupting in Calaveras and Amador Counties Wednesday afternoon.

“It was determined to be a catalytic converter,” says CAL Fire Battalion Chief Dennis Townsend.When it melts down, and blows out the exhaust pipe, it can cause fires without the driver even knowing it.”

A total of 15 acres was burned, stretching between Valley Springs and Jackson. The largest fire reached 10 acres in size.

Townsend says a lesson can be learned from this incident.When you have a poorly running vehicle, you should at least stop and examine it,” says Townsend.There is always that potential that something could be burning or melting down and you may not be aware if you just continue traveling straight ahead and not looking side to side or in your rearview mirror.”

Law enforcement is still looking for the individual responsible. The person is believed to be driving a white Ford F150 with black rims. It likely has a poorly sounding engine. Call (209) 532-0821 if you know of a vehicle fitting this description.

Written by BJ Hansen