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Updated: Williams Fire Ignited By Vehicle Parked on Top of Dry Bush

Angeles National Forest reopened for recreational use.

A vehicle parked on top of dry bush is being blamed as the cause of the Williams Fire that burned nearly 4,200 acres in the Angeles National Forest over Labor Day weekend.

According to a Nathan Judy, spokeswoman for the Angeles National Forest, the dry bush in a turnout was ignited by the vehicle’s hot undercarriage, resulting in a blaze that scorched 4,180 acres and cost nearly $9 million for firefighters to battle.

Judy told Patch investigators are currently trying to determine the owner of the vehicle. He said the vehicle was located in an area where dry vegetation is common.

"It was a busy holiday weekend, so people were parking wherever they could," said Judy.

Firefighters were able to fully contain the fire by Tuesday evening, a week after the blaze erupted over the Labor Day weekend.

Up to 2,000 people were evacuated from the forest, about 50 to 75 of those people were permanent residents of the canyon.

While Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road will remain closed while crews remove debris, the San Gabriel Canyon is now open for recreational use via San Gabriel Canyon Road.

“We ask that all visitors to the forest remain aware of their surroundings and be diligent in making sure that their visit is a safe one,” according to an Angeles National Forest press release.  “Please do not park or place any hot items near dry vegetation which can ignite and result in another tragic fire.”

For more information on open recreation sites in the Angeles National Forest, call any one of the ranger district offices:

Los Angeles River Ranger District: (818) 899-1900
San Gabriel River Ranger District: (626) 335-1251
Santa Clara-Mojave Rivers Ranger District: (661) 269-2808

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