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Metal grinding equipment started Patterson fire near Winchester, Cal Fire says

The Patterson fire that has burned more than 1,200 acres south of Diamond Valley Lake near Winchester was caused by “metal grinding equipment,” Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department said Friday, May 18.
A helicopter make a water drop on one of the hotspots during the Patterson fire in Winchester Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Frank Bellino for The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Air tankers, helicopters and firefighters battle the Patterson fire in Winchester Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Frank Bellino for The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Sound The gallery will resume in seconds A helicopter make a water drop on one of the hotspots during the Patterson fire in Winchester on Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Frank Bellino for The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
A firefighter works on some of the hotspots during the Patterson fire in Winchester Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Frank Bellino for The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Air tankers make a drop on the Patterson fire in Winchester Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Frank Bellino for The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Firefighters work to put out a brush fire Thursday in the Winchester area dubbed the Patterson fire. (Photo by Craig Shultz/Press-Enterprise)
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Investigators would not describe the equipment further, say how or where it was being used or whether anyone had been cited for starting the wildfire, spokeswoman Tawny Cabral said.
The fire was 85 percent contained as of Friday morning’s update.
The fire, which started Thursday afternoon in the 34000 block of Rawson Road near Patterson Stree t, burned one storage shed and threatened six homes.

Video of yesterday's #PattersonFire . pic.twitter.com/5UHjCs4J0H
— CAL FIRE Riverside (@CALFIRERRU) May 18, 2018

Cal Fire seized the opportunity to encourage safe equipment use, saying that it responds to more than 1,600 fires annually that were started by sparks attributed to misuse.
Among the tips: Do yard maintenance that requires a gas or electric motor when the weather is cool and not when the wind is blowing; do not use lawn mowers on dry vegetation; remove rocks from anywhere you are mowing; don’t drive your car into dry grass or brush; and keep a cell phone nearby and call 911 immediately in case of a fire.

#PattersonFire official cause is metal grinding equipment. CAL FIRE and Riverside County Fire Department want to remind you that safe and responsible equipment use is vital in preventing wildland fire. #beresponsible #preventwildfire #socalfirestrong #safeequipmentuse pic.twitter.com/sbOmvkI8Tu
— CAL FIRE Riverside (@CALFIRERRU) May 18, 2018

 

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