2008 Wildfires

May 6, 2008 3:55 PM

Cause of Monday's fire near Highway 166 confirmed

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reported by: Danielle Lerner

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

We now know what caused a 63-acre brush fire along Highway 166.

The blaze started around 2:45 p.m. Monday afternoon about 20 miles east of Santa Maria near Rock Front Ranch.

It was contained around 6:30 p.m. Monday night.

Santa Barbara County Fire says a Caltrans tractor-mower struck a rock while clearing some brush from the road. Sparks from the strike flew into some nearby vegetation.

The U.S. Forest Service is now taking steps to clean up the mess.

"We still have smoke in the interior. We just want to make sure we do 100 percent mop-up of the interior so there's no kind of potential for any flare-ups or threat to the lines," said Gavin Schwartz, a Captain with the U.S. Forest Service.

Part of the fire spread into the Los Padres National Forest.

Highway 166 was also shut down for a few hours between Highway 101 and New Cuyama.

With fire season on the horizon, fire crews remind you to limit your lawn maintenance to the earlier, cooler hours of the day.

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