Like the much larger Eagle Creek Fire in Oregon, the Bally Fire that began earlier this week in Gilroy appears to have been sparked by dumb teenagers playing with fireworks. Four teenage boys between the ages of 14 and 15 were interviewed and cited by police and released back to their parents' custody, as KRON 4 reports.
Witnesses say they saw the four boys playing with fireworks on Sunday evening on the dry hillside near the 1900 block of Ballybunion Court, where the fire began. The fire spread into steep and rugged terrain near Eagle Ridge and ultimately grew to 130 acres by Monday. As of Thursday the fire was 100 percent contained.
Per NBC Bay Area, the teens' case has been "sent to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department for review and prosecution."
And Gilroy police say that the investigation remains open, and anyone with information about the events of last Sunday is encouraged to contact Arson Investigator Mitch Madruga at (408) 846-0350.
The Bally Fire (short for Ballybunion) was thankfully small in scope and didn't damage any of the many nearby homes including, presumably, homes belong to the teenagers' families.
Meanwhile, several teens appear to have been responsible for sparking the massive Eagle Creek Fire in northern Oregon, along the Columbia River Gorge. That fire also began over the holiday weekend, and multiple witnesses had seen several teenagers, including some "giggling" teen girls, tossing fireworks into a dry canyon just before the fire was first reported.
Educate your kids about forest fires, everybody! Smokey the Bear clearly has not reached them.