Posted: Jun 29, 2012 8:33 AM by Courtney Meznarich, KSBY News
Updated: Jun 29, 2012 7:18 PM
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department says a fire investigator has determined the cause of a series of small fires that sparked along Highway 101 through Goleta Thursday.
The fires started around 3:00 p.m. near the 5600 block of Calle Real and were the result of a passing vehicle with a failing catalytic converter, according to the investigator.
A fire department spokesperson says catalytic converters don't start working until they are around 600 degrees, and a poor running car can cause a converter to reach a temperature in excess of 1,500 degrees and cause the substrate to melt down, which leads to a converter failure. Hot ceramic substance is then thrown from the vehicle's exhaust system and can spark fires on the roadside.
The fire caused some minor damage to a gas station and burned brush along the highway.
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