Environment & Science

Lake Fire: Human activity set huge Southern California wildfire

A stand of trees go torch on the northern flank of the Lake Fire Thursday afternoon.
A stand of trees go torch on the northern flank of the Lake Fire Thursday afternoon.
Stuart Palley for KPCC

Authorities say human activity caused a Southern California wildfire that burned four buildings and 49 square miles of forest land.

However, it's unclear whether the fire was set on purpose or by accident.

The Lake Fire erupted on June 17 in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles. It destroyed a home and three outbuildings.

Mountain neighborhoods and campground were evacuated for nine days and fire costs hit nearly $40 million.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise the fire originated in the rugged and remote Barton Flats area.

Miller says investigators combed the site and ruled out any natural causes.