Day Fire

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Day Fire
Day fire natural.jpg
Day Fire as seen via MODIS satellite on September 19.
LocationTopatopa Mountains,
Los Padres National Forest,
Ventura County,
CostSteven Emory Butcher
Date(s)September 4, 2006 (2006-09-04) – October 13, 2006 (2006-10-13)
Burned area162,702 acres (658 km2)
Perpetrator(s)Steven Emory Butcher

The Day Fire was a devastating wildfire that burned 162,702 acres (658 km2) of land in the Topatopa Mountains, within the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, southern California. As of 2017, the Day Fire is the 12th largest wildfire in modern California history.[2]


The fire, which was the largest of the 2006 California wildfire season, is the 12th largest fire in California history.[2] The fire started on Labor Day September 4, 2006, and by October 1, had cost $70.3 million; at one point, the Day Fire had 4,600 active firefighters combating it.[3]

The Day Fire burned approximately 162,702 acres (658.43 km2) of both Los Padres National Forest (97.4%) and privately owned lands.[2] The fire started on the Ojai Ranger District, in the Congressionally Designated Sespe Wilderness. The Sespe Wilderness is under the Federal jurisdiction of the United States Forest Service. In addition to the land burned in the wilderness area, 1,943 acres (8 km2) of private land was burned in Lockwood Valley and the Mutau Flat area. A total of eleven structures were reported destroyed, including one residence and ten outbuildings.[citation needed]


Day Fire, near Old Hwy 99 September 12, 2007 burns behind the Texas Canyon Hotshots.

The Day Fire was determined to be human caused Specifically, a debris burn consisting of clothing, ammunition, and other items were illegally ignited during fire restrictions.[citation needed] Ignited material coming out of the debris burn came in contact with surrounding dry grasses, causing a wildland fire to occur. On September 7, 2006, Steven Butcher walked out of the Day Fire with burns to his face. Mr. Butcher was the one who notified the authorities there was a fire burning in the Los Padres National Forrest.

In 2009, Butcher was found guilty of starting the fire. I hid up there for days afterward watching the animals running scared around me."[1] Before sentencing, District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank said that Butcher clearly loved nature."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Schizophrenic Transient Ordered to Pay $101M for Starting 2006 Day Fire". NBC Los Angeles. July 17, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Top 20 Largest California Wildfires" (PDF). CAL FIRE. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  3. ^ Schoch, Deborah (October 2, 2006). "A Ribbon Cut Stubborn Day Fire Down to Size". LA Times. Retrieved September 8, 2015.