Six months after the Whittier Fire stopped spreading the U.S. Forest Service has released the cause of the blaze. The investigation determined that a vehicle driving through tall grass near Camp Whittier ignited the fire.
The Forest Service did not file criminal charges. Due to the age of the driver, the agency will not release any additional details of the investigation.
The Whittier Fire started July 8 on Bureau of Reclamation land and quickly spread onto National Forest System lands northwest of Santa Barbara, California. The fire burned 18,430 acres until it stopped spreading July 20.
The fire has been in the news since a U.S. Forest Service firefighter, Dave Dahlberg, was introduced and honored by President Trump at the January 30 State of the Union Address. Mr. Dahlberg helped rescue 62 children and staff members when the Whittier Fire encircled their camp.