As of 11 a.m. this morning, the Palmer Fire - the lesser of the two wildfires burning in northern Santa Barbara County - has been extinguished, fire officials said. The blaze began burning near Palmer Road in Santa Maria around 1:30 on Thursday and consumed around 140 acres before being extinguished this morning.
At 12:42 p.m. today, county fire spokesperson Capt. Dave Sadecki informed area media that investigators had determined the cause of the fire: a grass-cutting operation happening around the vineyard. No charges will be filed, as investigators have concluded that the blaze was started accidentally.
No structures were lost as a result of the Palmer Fire. Motorists traveling along Highway 101 near the Palmer Road exit had been urged to exercise caution so as to avoid firefighting vehicles traveling through the area.