Peace officers with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit (TCU) have determined that the cause of the Washington Fire was accidental in nature, ruling out arson as a possible cause, according to a Cal Fire TCU press release.

The Washington Fire was reported around 1:20 p.m. on Aug. 26 between Jamestown and Sonora.

“The fire burned approximately 100 acres of vegetation across multiple properties that led to evacuations in several neighborhoods, the downtown area of Sonora and the destruction of several structures,” a press release from Cal Fire TCU reads. “Total suppression costs to date are approximately $1.56 million.”

The Airola Fire, which sparked around 2:55 p.m. on Aug. 25 near Parrotts Ferry Bridge in Vallecito, also remains under investigation.

“The fire burned approximately 639 acres of vegetation north of New Melones Lake,” the release reads. “Total suppression costs to date are approximately $1.83 million.”

Cal Fire TCU continues to investigate both fires, and encourages anyone with relevant information to contact its San Andreas headquarters at (209) 754-3831.

For tips on preparing for wildfire, visit Cal Fire’s website at


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