TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas -- Officials say electrical lines appear to be the cause of a fire in Steiner Ranch last year which destroyed nearly two dozen homes.
On Tuesday the Travis County Fire Marshal's Office released the findings of its year-long investigation. Officials investigated burn patterns, video footage and took witness statements.
They concluded the fire was accidental, caused by electrical lines coming into contact with each other and igniting grass.
“The exceptional drought, low humidity and high winds and temperature combined to create conditions that were ripe for fire ignition,” Fire Marshal Hershel Lee said. “We excluded possible ignition sources and found that the electrical lines where the fire most likely started had enough slack to slap and arc, causing molten metal to fall onto combustible grass.”
On Sept. 4, 2011, Travis County fire crews fought six wildfires, including the one in the Steiner Ranch subdivision.
Firefighters were able to save hundreds of homes from burning, but nearly two dozen were destroyed. Dozens more were damaged, and more than 160 acres burned.