November 29, 2021
San Juan fire blamed on vehicle exhaust
INLAND EMPIRE--A fire that started at three locations Monday in the Santa Ana Mountains above Lake Elsinore has been attributed to hot exhaust particles from a passing vehicle on the Ortega Highway.

Investigators say the vehicle was not located, but they ruled out arson.

An immediate air and ground assault held the largest of the fires to five-acres.

The Forest Service said the fire had much greater potential and spokesman Virgil Mink says that mountainous area is vulnerable to large fires, “because of heavy vegetation. That area last burned in 1988, the last time we had a San Juan fire.”

Meantime, fire restrictions have been ramped up in the San Bernardino National Forest. No open campfires or BBQ’s are allowed even in developed campgrounds.

Story Date: November 19, 2008
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