UPDATED 7:21 AM PT — Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Officials in Southern California have determined the cause of a wildfire that has continued to rage in part of the region.
In a statement Monday, Riverside County officials said the ‘Apple Fire’ was caused after a diesel-fueled vehicle malfunctioned and emitted burning carbon from its exhaust.
— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) August 3, 2020
The blaze has burned more than 31-square-miles in the mountains east of Los Angeles and was only seven-percent contained as of Tuesday morning. Evacuation orders have also been issued for more than 7,000 people.
Officials have said the hot weather and rough terrain are making it hard to contain the fire.
“That whole mountainside is covered with those heavy fuels, coupled with the steep terrain,” said Capt. Fernando Herrera, Public Information Officer for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “That’s inaccessible at certain points, even for our dozers, it’s hard for them to maneuver at such steepness.”
Officials have also said newly added coronavirus precautions have made it difficult to treat people at evacuation centers.