Vegetation fire burns 300+ acres at Vandenberg Air Force Base - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Vegetation fire burns 300+ acres at Vandenberg Air Force Base

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE (7 p.m.) - Firefighters were working hard Friday to put out a fire that broke out at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

As of Friday afternoon, the fire had charred 380 acres and was 50-percent contained.

The fire was burning on the northern part of the base. The giant plume of smoke from the Encelados Fire could be seen from afar.

Locals said a fire starting on Vandenberg Air Force Base property comes as no surprise to locals. This is at least the fifth fire on base property since February.

"All in the same lower area over here. You drive out to see the plumes in the morning or the afternoon or something," said Frank Lomas, a Lompoc resident.

Friday's vegetation fire burned on the main base off El Rancho Road. Fire crews from Vandenberg Air Force Base were assisted by Santa Barbara County Fire and the US Forest Service.

"This time last year, we had quite a bit of rain, and now there hasn't been any in the last month, so it's probably drier," Lomas added.

According to base officials, no structures were damaged and all base personnel in the area of the fire not assigned to the fire were evacuated.

By early Friday afternoon, the plume of smoke had dissipated but the smoke was making its way into the Lompoc and Vandenberg Village communities.

"The smoke just rolled in within a couple seconds and it's hard to breathe, pretty gnarly. We had to stop exercising - like immediately - because it was getting in our lungs and feeling pretty nasty," said Daniel Crautfield, a Lompoc resident.

Because of the heavy smoke and poor visibility, many called it a day.

"Obviously it's real thick. My eyes are burning so, yup, that's it for the day. I am going to quit work, go home," said Gus Snijdewind from Orcutt.

Base officials said crews are mopping up and will continue doing so overnight.

ORIGINAL STORY - Firefighters were working to put out a vegetation fire Friday morning that broke out at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

According to the California Highway Patrol, it was first reported shortly after 9:00 a.m.

By 2:15 P.M., forward progress of the 380-acre Encelados Fire on the northern part of the main base off El Rancho Road was said to have been stopped. It was reported to be 50 percent contained. 

The U.S. Forest Service was also assisting. 

Smoke from the Encelados Fire fire seen from the Santa Maria area. (KSBY photo)

KSBY's crews were moved from an area near the Marshallia Ranch Golf Course earlier in the day. All base personnel in the area of the fire not currently assigned to the fire were also evacuated, according to base officials. 

No structures have been damaged. Highway 1 to and from the main base remains open. 

The wind was pushing smoke from the fire into the Lompoc and Vandenberg Village communities. 

Base officials said mop up of the fire was expected to continue overnight. 

Top Trending Videos

Doppler Radar
Powered by Frankly

© KSBY.com 2018, KSBY.com
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?