Brush Fire Breaks Out at Coal Oil Point

No structures threatened; law enforcement investigating “suspicious subject” in the area

A brush fire that began at Coal Oil Point at around 9:40 p.m. on Thursday had grown to approximately 10 acres by 11:15 p.m., and Santa Barbara County firefighters remained on the scene late into the evening as the blaze was fanned by 25 mph winds pushing it from west to east.

While the fire broke out near Venoco Inc.’s oil storage tanks on a strip of shoreline west of Isla Vista and UCSB, none of the tanks or buildings have been threatened, said County Fire spokesperson Captain David Sadecki.

Eight engines were dispatched to the scene, and there are reports of downed power lines in the area. Sadecki said the cause of the fire — which had burned nearby vegetation and a number of eucalyptus trees, sending flames high into the air — is under investigation. He noted there was a “suspicious subject” in the area who law enforcement is looking into.

It’s unclear what containment level firefighters have reached. Independent Outdoors Editor Ray Ford is on the scene and will be updating this report with more information shortly.

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