A cause has been determined for the Lavern Fire in Happy Valley. More accurate mapping now has the blaze at 180 acres. It’s 70% contained and is not expected to grow. Crews have been mopping up hot spots and strengthening containment lines. Damage assessment is not yet complete but so far it’s known that 5 homes were destroyed and two other structures were damaged. It was first reported near Saddle Trail and Laverne Lane at around 12:45PM Tuesday, and it spread to the north, quickly jumping Hawthorne Avenue and threatening numerous homes on China Gulch Road. A very aggressive attack prevented the loss of many other homes in the path of the fast moving blaze. The mutual aid system again proved it’s effectiveness as Redding, Anderson and many other fire agencies answered the call. In addition to engine crews the fire was also fought by inmate hand crews, large helicopters were dumping loads of water and aircraft were dropping retardant, including a DC-10 that made a massive drop along Oak Street and China Gulch. Forward progress was stopped just before 5 O’clock Tuesday on the ridge above Clear Creek. About 200 fire personnel are still working the area. Only residents with identification are allowed in the fire zone. People should drive slowly and watch for hazards, including power lines and partially burned utility poles and trees. The cause of the fire was apparently somebody discarding hot ashes from a barbecue. The person responsible was cited and charges will be filed with the district attorney’s office.