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Investigators: Caballo Fire started by someone using a torch to clear weeds

Caballo Fire Eliason.jpg
Posted at 11:29 AM, Sep 14, 2021

Santa Barbara County Fire officials say the Caballo Fire, which burned nearly 70 acres in the Los Olivos area last week, was started by a weed and vegetation burning operation.

Fire investigators say someone was using a propane-fueled torch to eradicate weeds and brush without a fire department permit. The flames escaped the control of the operator, causing the Caballo Fire.

The fire started along the 3200 block of Caballo Lane on the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 6, prompting evacuations for people living in the area.

Residents were allowed back home that night.

One barn on Avenida Caballo was reportedly damaged, but fire officials say defensible space helped spare other homes and structures.

Fire officials say using torches or open flames for weed or vegetation control is not recommended, and a permit is required for anyone operating a torch or an open flame in a wildfire risk area.