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Vegetation fire burning in the Santa Maria Riverbed near Highway 101

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Posted at 9:50 PM, Jun 21, 2022

At about 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday, CAL FIRE received a call about a vegetation fire burning in the Santa Maria Riverbed near Highway 101.

"The fire was reported at about a half acre when the first fire engine arrived. It grew to about an acre and they quickly put it out. We had the potential for about three acres though," said Adan Orozco, Cal Fire San Luis Obispo Public Information Officer.

"It's a fire in the river bottom which happens occasionally, and we're happy to help and assist. We were approximately two miles away, so we were able to get here quickly," said Peter Stephenson, Los Padres National Forest Battalion 34 Chief.

Once fire crews were on scene, it took about 15 to 20 minutes to put out the fire.

The location of the fire allowed multiple agencies to respond.

"...and that riverbed kind of divides the two counties. This happens to be on the side that belongs to Cal Fire SLO," said Orozco.

"The Los Padres National Forest, we help Cal Fire San Luis Obispo with this, so we're just here to help out our adjoining agencies," said Stephenson.

Cal Fire says this time of year it is more important than ever to take extra caution when doing anything that could cause a spark.

"...so we are in that summer month period now where we would consider this to be peak fire season, and so the dangers are escalated," said Orozco.