PUTTING OUT FIRES: Firefighters in California are struggling to get out of control fires under control after a woman driving on her rim sparked massive fires. Image: AP / Greg Lehman
California - A vehicle sparked several wildfires that consumed at least 450 acres in Northern California, forced evacuations and burned one home, authorities say.
A female driver was driving on the right rear rim of her subcompact car, emitting sparks that caused the fires in Calaveras County, 104km southeast of Sacramento, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) tells KCRA-TV.
One house was burned on Sunday (August 28) and many people were forced to leave their homes. The evacuation orders have since been lifted.
One homeowner, Eugene Brooks, told the KCRA-TV: "We immediately smelled the smoke from the vehicle and looked and there was a fire on the corner of the property." Neighbors were left to help put out hot spots near their homes and said they were relieved the fire wasn't worse.
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Renee Hogan was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, the CHP said. The state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says it has filed additional charges against Hogan related to the fires.
According to reports, the fire is 30% contained and no one was injured. Hogan's car was torched by the flames.
With wildfire season in full swing, Cal Fire is pleading with homeowners and drivers to be careful. There are some 11 500 firefighters battling a dozen large wildfires in California.