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Property owner works to save cattle, horses from Pozo Fire - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Property owner works to save cattle, horses from Pozo Fire

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Local fire crews were working overnight Monday into Tuesday on a 35-acre fire on West Pozo Road.

As of Monday night, officials with Los Padres National Forest say the blaze is 70-percent contained.

Early on, officials said the fire had the potential to grow to 1,000 acres. That's why it was "all hands on deck" when it came to knocking it down.

"All of a sudden I saw plumes of smoke and flames shooting up," said Susan Coffey, who watched the Pozo Fire engulf 35 acres of her property from her house just up the road.

"I got really concerned," Coffey said.

Coffey moved her horses and cattle out of harm's way.

"I tied them up by the main house to keep them from roaming around," Coffey said.

Meanwhile, fire crews were attacking the blaze from the ground and the sky.

At least four agencies fought the blaze, dispatching a dozen fire engines, eight air tankers, two helicopters along with more bulldozers, water tenders, and hand crews.

"We sent everything we had at this fire. With the major fires going on around the state, the philosophy was to get this thing, hit it hard, and put this thing out fast," said Chris Elms, a public information officer for CAL FIRE.

A firefighter with CAL FIRE was injured when a tree fell on him.

"He was listed in fair condition and transported to a local hospital for evaluation," Elms said.

It was one of many trees succumbing to the flames along the hillside. The danger of falling trees is something fire crews face on nearly every wildfire.

"The trees behind us on the hillside are still very drought-stricken trees. Some of them are very weak. Fire just adds one more issue that they need to contend with," Elms said.

Coffey is thankful the damage was stopped at 35 acres.

"Kudos to the firefighters for having jumped on it and stopped it," Coffey said.

The charred land is serving as a reminder that fire season is still here.

"This is completely possible anywhere in the state at this point," Elms said.

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