Moonlight Fire

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Moonlight Fire on first day: Monday, Sept. 3. As viewed from Highway 36.
Ground to crown flame spread. USFS photo

The Moonlight Fire started on Labor Day, September 3, 2007, near Westwood in Lassen County, California, United States. It was a human-caused wildfire started on private land southeast of Mountain Meadows Reservoir and is still under investigation.[citation needed] Approximately 2,300 firefighters were involved in fighting the fire.[1] Strong winds pushed smoke to the Sacramento Valley, Bay Area, Nevada and Idaho. In Plumas County, 500 homes were threatened by the Moonlight Fire; 100 residences were evacuated near Greenville in the North Arm area of Indian Valley, as the wild fire was still raging in the Plumas National Forest.[1] The fire was fully contained on September 19, 2007, having burned a total of 65,000 acres (260 km2).[2]

The cause of the fire may have been the operation of logging equipment on a day with high fire danger. Federal and state officials accused Sierra Pacific Industries of negligence in the hiring and supervision of the employees operating the equipment. Sierra Pacific settled the federal case for $50 million and 22,500 acres of land. The state's court case was thrown out by a judge because of inadequate evidence.[3]

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Coordinates: 40°13′40″N 120°50′50″W / 40.22791°N 120.84710°W / 40.22791; -120.84710