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Jun 28,2007
Lake Tahoe fire cause ruled human
by UPI

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - Officials ruled a 3,000-acre fire that has destroyed 200 homes near Lake Tahoe, Calif., was caused by human activity.

Investigators didn't know exactly what sparked the wildfire, which officials said was about 55 percent contained Wednesday, the South Lake Tahoe (Calif.) Daily Tribune reported.

"Is it a cigarette, a campfire or some other cause? We don't know," Rich Hawkins, a Forest Service fire commander told the Tribune.

Officials said they don't believe the fire was intentionally set.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger toured a neighborhood in South Lake Tahoe where homes burned and told residents it wasn't the time for angry questions about land-use regulations that made it hard for them to clear trees from their properties, increasing fuel for the fire.

The former bodybuilder hoisted a dumbbell from the fire debris, one of the few objects to survive the fire.

Also Wednesday, officials said a 10,700-acre fire 80 miles north of Los Angeles was 50 percent contained.

"We're just trying to work with the weather right now," state fire spokesman Mike Mohler told the Tribune.

copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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