Yesterday, the U.S. Forest Service announced they’re searching for a bowhunter responsible for starting an illegal campfire that eventually engulfed 371 square miles of forest in and around Yosemite National Park in one of California’s largest wildfires ever, the Rim Fire.
This report from ABC news said the agency is withholding the bowhunter’s name and any details on how the fire escaped the hunter’s control while they complete their investigation.
California deer and bear archery seasons were open when the fire started on August 17th, but a ban on campfires outside developed camping areas was in place the week prior because of the increasing danger.
The article also states that so far, the Rim Fire has burned 111 structures, including 11 homes, and is now 80% contained. Coincidentally, California’s largest fire–one that burned 430 square miles, 2,200 homes and caused 15 deaths–flared in 2003 and was also started by a deer hunter who became lost and lit a signal fire to attract rescuers.