Fire officials in California have released the cause of the Ferguson Fire that burned 96,901 acres of the Sierra National Forest, Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and state lands. They determined that it was caused by a hot catalytic converter on a vehicle that parked in dry grass at 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 13, along eastbound Highway 140 near the Savage Trading Post.
A vehicle associated with the cause has not been located. However, officials are asking anyone with information to contact the Sierra National Forest at (559) 297-0706.
Catalytic converters are part of the exhaust system on the underside of vehicles and can heat up to 1,200 degrees. After a vehicle has been traveling at speed, under a load, or not working properly the catalytic converter can get even hotter. If it is parked over dry grass, it can ignite a fire.
U.S. Forest Service personnel working on the investigation received assistance from the National Park Service and CAL FIRE.