A 122 acre wildfire raged through California and Nevada on August 5, and the culprit has been announced as a mountain bike pedal.
It is believed that a pedal strike on the Lower Rock Creek trail acted like a flint and steel fire striker that caused the spark to ignite some tinder-dry grass. The fire burned for eight days and led to the evacuation of Swall Meadows, a town with a population of 220. It also caused a number of roads to be closed as it was contained by a crew of 338 personnel including five helicopters and 16 fire engines.
The investigation into the cause of the fire was described as “conclusive” with marks and metal fragments on the rock were used as evidence. The US National Forest Service said: “A fire ignition from this type of trigger is a testament to how dry the area is right now. All residents and visitors are asked to be extremely careful with anything that may cause a fire while you are out in the forest.”
A spokesperson for the Service has reassured mountain bikers that this is unlikely to affect trail access as it was not done maliciously, but it is something to be aware of for local riders.
It is worth noting that 150,498 acres have been burned so far in California this year, making the Rock Creek fire fairly minuscule in comparison.