H-OCEANO DUNES

Jul 16, 2013 8:15 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Firefighters mop up in Oceano

Firefighters continued mop up operations in the Oceano Dunes Tuesday, a day after a 6-acre fire roared through the area.

Pushpa Patel owns Pier Liquor in Oceano and got quite a scare on Monday.

What started as a small brush fire quickly grew into a tense situation.

"Within five minutes it came right behind the store, spreading so fast. I thought my building is going to be on fire, too," said Patel.

Fortunately for Pushpa, firefighters quickly gained control over the blaze.

Tuesday, ground crews began clean up.

"So what you have here, you have very light, fine, flashy fuels," said Battalion Chief Paul Lee.

He said current weather conditions have caused many of these fires to grow larger than they normally would.

"About 95% of wild land fires are caused by humans," said Lee.

Monday was no exception. He said they received a tip from witnesses saying two people were running from where the fire may have started.

"When two people are fleeing the area at a high rate of speed and they're not being chased by a fire, that's sometimes suspicious to us," said Lee.

However, both people were questioned and released shortly after. No charges will be filed.

Pushpa considers herself lucky and as firefighters clean retardant off her building, she's reminded how close it actually came

"Here is the fire edge, there's the firefighters cleaning off the structure, and that's how close it got," said Lee.

Photo courtesy: Heather Redden Castleberry

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