Mountain Fire: Equipment failure on private property sparked blaze, CalFire says

Mountain Fire In Southern California Grows In Strength

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Smoke from the Mountain Fire obscures the sun as a fire fighting helicopter heads to fight the Mountain Fire after picking up water from Lake Hemet July 18, 2013 near Idyllwild, California.

The Mountain Fire that burned over 27,000 acres and caused the evacuations of Idyllwild and Fern Valley communities was caused by an electrical equipment failure on private property, CalFire investigators reported Thursday evening. 

The statement released by CalFire and the Riverside County Fire Department said the failure "occurred on the customer side of the meter." Officials could not be reached Thursday afternoon for comment. 

Though nearly contained, the fire continues to burn near Idyllwild. It has so far charred 27,531 acres and destroyed 23 structures, including 7 homes. At its height last week, the fire displaced over 6,000 area residents and required the assistance of over 3,500 firefighters.

Thanks to night and day firefighting and cooler temperatures, the fire was brought under control over the weekend. It remains 92 percent contained.

CalFire also announced Thursday that the San Bernardino National Forest will assume control of firefighting operations.

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