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Fire investigators determine power lines sparked wildfire in Santa Ynez

Posted: 10:29 AM, Jul 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-11 13:35:16-04

Santa Barbara County Fire Department has determined the cause of a four-acre brush fire that burned in Santa Ynez on July 6.

Public information officer Daniel Bertucelli released the following statement to the media Thursday:

“In the case of the wildfire in the Happy Canyon area in Santa Ynez on Saturday, July 6, 2019, the cause was determined to be the result of power lines. An electrical component failure resulted in an energized power line separating from a power pole and contacting the ground. The energized power line ignited multiple fires between two power poles.”

The fire, dubbed the “Happy Fire,”  broke out at about 2:15 p.m. on July 6 in the 7300 block of Happy Canyon Road. Firefighters stopped forward progress of the fire about 30 minutes later.

Bertucelli did not name the utility associated with the lines that ignited the Happy Fire but PG&E is the primary power provider for the Santa Ynez Valley.

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