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California wildfires: Fire officials warn even a discarded cigarette will ignite a blaze

Pimlott, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection director, said “98 per cent” of all wildfires are started by people and it’s unlikely lightning is to blame for any of the fires that exploded overnight Sunday, killing at least 17 people so far.

Just about anything could have started any one of the wildfires now tearing through Northern California, authorities said. A carelessly discarded cigarette, a downed power line, a car’s backfire or a chainsaw’s pull.


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