Despite Rains, Vegetation Dry in Places

A fire broke out about a week ago at Vandenberg Air Force Base, even after a month that showered 7-8 inches of rain on the 98,000-acre military installation. Lieutenant Colonel Ryan J. Novotny, base fire marshal and commander of the 30th Civil Engineering Squadron, said that knee-deep dead and dry grass blanketed the canyon where a power line had fallen and started the blaze. It was in the area of last September’s Canyon Fire but the dry, salt-cured vegetation had not burned for 50 years, he said. Originally reported to have burned 15 acres, after it was extinguished, the Lompoc Canyon Fire was estimated to cover 10 acres. The February 25 blaze saw response by three Vandenberg Fire engines, two water tenders, and two fire dozers. Lompoc and Santa Barbara fire agencies helped control the blaze with engines and a helicopter.

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