A Hunter’s Illegal Fire Started the Huge Yosemite Rim Blaze

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Flames from the Rim Fire consume trees on August 25, 2013 near Groveland, California. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens 4,500 homes outside of Yosemite National Park. Over 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze that has entered a section of Yosemite National Park and is currently 7 percent contained.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As of Wednesday night, Forest Service investigators were staying mum about what might have caused the massive Rim Fire near Yosemite. (But it wasn't a pot grow, okay?) On Thursday, they announced not only that they knew a hunter's illegal fire had started the state's fourth-largest recorded wildfire, but also that they knew who the hunter was. The Forest Service has filed no charges so far in the blaze that destroyed eleven homes and cost $81 million. They also haven't sent him a bill, but a spokesman said, "There is a mechanism to do that."