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Zaca Fire Spreads Into Los Padres

Cause of 1,500-Determined Blaze Determined


The Zaca Fire, which began Wednesday morning shortly before 11 a.m., has now consumed over 1,500 acres-more than four times the area burnt by the previous week’s fire near Paradise Road-and has burned into the Los Padres National Forest and is currently threatening the San Rafael Wilderness. According to a press release by Cal Fire the difficulty in containing the fire is due to a steady wind and “very rugged, inaccessible terrain.”

So far, the fire has attracted six air tankers, 14 helicopters, 30 dozers, 73 engines and over 1,000 firefighters. The U.S. Forest Service has taken control of firefighting duties from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. The fire is now 30 percent contained, but there is no estimation as to when the fire will be fully under control. As of this morning, no homes or buildings were directly threatened. Even so, 15 people have already been evacuated.

Firefighters are pooling efforts to contain the fire to south of the Sisquoc River, north of Zaca Lake Road and west of the San Rafael Wilderness. The blaze is located northeast of Los Olivos about a half a mile from Highway 154. Citizens are urged to avoid Fox Canyon Road and the surrounding area.

On the morning of July 4, individuals attempting to repair a water pipe on private property just off of Bell Canyon Road started the fire, unintentionally, when sparks from a grinder ignited dry vegetation. The people responsible attempted to quell the flames but the fire quickly spread out of control. The individuals responsible have been very forthcoming and cooperative with investigators. The people responsible and the property owners may be held financially responsible.

For more information got to www.fire.ca.gov or call the Zaca Fire Information Line at 805-961-5770.

John Stark is an Independent intern.

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