Investigators from the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations and the Tuolumne County district attorney’s office have determined that the Rim Fire began when a hunter allowed an illegal fire to escape.
Earlier today, officials had told the media that it might take months for investigators to determine what ignited the wildfire, which has consumed more than 370 square miles of forest in and around Yosemite National Park.
Investigators said there is no indication that the hunter was involved with illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands, and no marijuana cultivation sites were located near the origin of the fire. No arrests have been made at this time and the hunter’s name is being withheld pending further investigation.
The Rim Fire began Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in the Stanislaus National Forest near the area known as Jawbone Ridge. It is now 80 percent contained.