• Kyle Sooley-Brookings

Largest Fire in California History was Started by Hammer


Pyrocumulonimbus rising above the Mendocino Complex, as viewed from Ukiah, California, on July 29, 2018

The largest recorded fire in California history was started by a hammer.


The Ranch Fire was caused by a spark that came from a hammer driving a metal stake into the ground.


The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has stated that was the cause.

No charges have been filed.


The fires collectively destroyed 280 structures while damaging 37 others; causing at least $267 million (2018 USD) in damages, including $56 million in insured property damage and $201 million (2018 USD) in fire suppression costs.

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