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Forest fire in California: Gate fire under criminal investigation, authorities say

California officials have launched a criminal investigation into the cause of the Gate fire, which burned more than 2,000 acres and forced hundreds to evacuate in the south-east of San Diego.

Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez said in a video posted on Instagram appears to show the fire on Saturday south of Jamul and a group of people to run away, according to Fox 5. The video cuts to a fire truck pulling up, then it shifts to the scene of the fire, now a large forest fire.

“The person who posted the video along with the researchers and it has become a criminal investigation,” Sanchez told City News Service.

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The person who recorded the video, Christopher Carvalho, told Fox 5 that he called 911 to report the fire. Carvalho is of opinion that it was irresponsible for the group of people allegedly involved in the start of the fire to leave before the fire officials arrived.

WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE

Some crazy shit happened right next to me and my boy @dannybarka . We shot at BLM and the people next to us on one way or the other started a fire and took 100 acres! —Update— Most people wonder if they started the fire intentionally, no they did not, they were shooting at their goal, and a flame started (probably from a spark from their ammo) in the video was their attempt to make it, she rang the fire brigade and to the left.

A post shared by Vandal (@vandalsworld) on May 20, 2017 at 8:26pm PDT

According to the video’s description, Carvalho wrote that he and his friend were shooting on Bureau of Land Management property when a group of people near them started the fire.

“They shoot their target, and a flame is started (probably from a spark from their ammunition,” Carvalho wrote in the video’s description. He added that the fire was not intentionally and they have tried to take it out before you call 911.

Fire officials said the land, where the fire began, is a popular area for the sport, according to the San Diego Tribune.

The fire was reported at about 10 acres and the fire brigade came to the place, but grew at a “dangerous speed,” Sanchez said.

The fire aided by dry and windy conditions, quickly spread and burned more than two square kilometres.

Cal Fire reported the wildfire was 75 percent contained Monday morning after a rise in the humidity allowed firefighters to advance.

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Campers and residents of the nearby Dulzura were evacuated. An evacuation warning remains in effect for that community, but the residents were allowed to return.

Authorities say that the Pio Pico RV Resort and Campground remains under evacuation due to the infrastructure damage, but does not reveal the extent of the destruction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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