Santa Ynez Ranch Owners Help Pay for Zaca Fire

The owners of a Santa Ynez ranch have now paid $17 million to state and federal authorities in partial compensation for the cost of putting out the Zaca Fire in 2007, which consumed 228,000 acres of backcountry, making it the second largest in California history. The fire started on July 4, 2007, when workers employed by the La Laguna Ranch accidentally triggered the blaze when sparks flew off the pipe they were welding. Criminal charges had been filed against those employees but were subsequently dropped. The final installment of $5.5 million was made Tuesday. The Zaca Fire was not only one of the biggest in state history, but with $140 million spent on fire-fighting efforts, also one of the most expensive to put out.

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