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Electrocuted bobcat to blame for Ventura County wildfire

September 7, 2010 |  1:59 pm

It wasn't arson, a tossed cigarette or a lightning strike that ignited a five-acre brush fire in eastern Ventura County.

It was an electrocuted bobcat.

About 75 firefighters responded to the brush fire that broke out near the town of Piru about 3 a.m. Monday, containing the blaze in just a few hours, said Ventura County Fire Capt. Ron Oatman.

When fire investigators arrived on scene, they found an unusual piece of evidence: the charred remains of a bobcat that had apparently scaled a power line, been electrocuted and fallen to the ground, lighting the grass on fire.

"It's very common to happen with birds; this is the first bobcat I've heard of," Oatman said.

-- Tony Barboza