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U.S. Forest Service: Hunter caused huge wildfire near Yosemite

  • In this photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, a Hotshot fire crew member rests near a controlled burn operation at Horseshoe Meadows, as crews continue to fight the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. The massive wildfire is now 80 percent contained according to a state fire spokesman. The Rim Fire’s southeast flank in Yosemite National Park is expected to remain active where unburned fuels remain between containment lines and the fire. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mike McMillan)

    In this photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, a Hotshot fire crew member rests near a controlled burn operation at Horseshoe Meadows, as crews continue to fight the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. The massive wildfire is now 80 percent contained according to a state fire spokesman. The Rim Fire’s southeast flank in Yosemite National Park is expected to remain active where unburned fuels remain between containment lines and the fire. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mike McMillan)

  • In this photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, Crews clear California Highway 120 of debris, as crews continue to fight the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. The massive wildfire is now 80 percent contained according to a state fire spokesman. The Rim Fire’s southeast flank in Yosemite National Park is expected to remain active where unburned fuels remain between containment lines and the fire. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mike McMillan)

    In this photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, Crews clear California Highway 120 of debris, as crews continue to fight the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. The massive wildfire is now 80 percent contained according to a state fire spokesman. The Rim Fire’s southeast flank in Yosemite National Park is expected to remain active where unburned fuels remain between containment lines and the fire. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mike McMillan)

  • In this photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, a Hotshot fire crew member rests near a controlled burn operation at Horseshoe Meadows, as crews continue to fight the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. The massive wildfire is now 80 percent contained according to a state fire spokesman. The Rim Fire’s southeast flank in Yosemite National Park is expected to remain active where unburned fuels remain between containment lines and the fire. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mike McMillan)
  • In this photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, Crews clear California Highway 120 of debris, as crews continue to fight the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. The massive wildfire is now 80 percent contained according to a state fire spokesman. The Rim Fire’s southeast flank in Yosemite National Park is expected to remain active where unburned fuels remain between containment lines and the fire. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mike McMillan)

A gigantic wildfire in and around California’s Yosemite National Park was caused by an illegal fire set by a hunter, the U.S. Forest Service said yesterday.

The agency said there is no indication the hunter was involved with illegal marijuana cultivation, which a local fire chief had speculated as the possible cause of the blaze.

No arrests have been made, and the hunter’s name was being withheld pending further investigation, according to the Forest Service. The only legal hunting allowed at the time the fire started Aug. 17 was archery for bear and deer.

A Forest Service statement gave no details on how the illegal fire in a remote canyon of the Stanislaus National Forest had escaped the hunter’s control. Because of high fire danger across the region, the Forest Service had banned fires outside of developed camping areas more than a week before the fire started.

“We’re not going to release any more information while the investigation is ongoing,” said Ray Mooney, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

Investigators would not say whether the hunter had turned himself in, Mooney said. When the investigation is complete, the U.S. Department of Justice will decide whether to seek restitution.

The Rim Fire has burned nearly 371 square miles – one of the largest wildfires in California history – and has cost $81 million to fight.

In some cases, people who have started wildfires in California have been sued to pay for the costs and damages.

The Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation, but declined to comment.

yet I read somewhere that it was Bush's fault and on another article they claimed it was globul warming

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