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Parked car started Williams fire, Forest Service says

A car parked atop dry vegetation in a dirt turnout sparked the 4,192-acre Williams Fire, the U.S. Forest Service said

A car parked atop dry vegetation in a dirt turnout sparked the 4,192-acre Williams fire, the U.S. Forest Service said Friday.

The wildfire in the Angeles National Forest, which cost $8.7 million to fight, was declared fully contained Tuesday evening. San Gabriel Canyon has been reopened, but Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road will remain closed until debris is cleared, officials said.

Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy said agency investigators had determined that the blaze started Sept. 2 when the hot undercarriage of a car parked on an East Fork Road turnout ignited brush. He added that the investigation has been referred to federal prosecutors, who will determine what, if any, action will be taken against the driver of the car, who was not identified. 

The wildfire, marked by huge columns of smoke in its early days, primarily burned chaparral just east of state Highway 39. No structures were destroyed.

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-- Bettina Boxall           

Photo: U.S. Forest Service firefighters stand near flames at the Williams fire in the Angeles National Forest on Sept. 4. Credit: David McNew / Getty Images  

 
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