[Update, Wednesday, 9:34 a.m.]: The Cat Fire, which started around noon on Monday and grew to 18 acres, was extinguished by Tuesday morning. Firefighters had contained the blaze by 2 p.m. Monday. The fire was caused, said County Fire Captain Dave Zaniboni, possibly by a faulty power pole at ERG’s Cat Canyon oil facility.
[Update, 9:32 p.m.]: The Cat Fire, as it’s now being called, had burned 18 acres in the Cat Canyon Road area by 6:40 p.m. Monday evening, according to County Fire Captain Dave Zaniboni. Fire crews will remain on scene through the night to patrol the blaze.
[Original Story]: County firefighters at 2 p.m. Monday contained an eight- to 10-acre brush fire that started just after noon at 6085 Cat Canyon Road, the site of ERG’s Cat Canyon oil facility east of Santa Maria.
First reported at six to seven acres, the fire initiated a hefty response from County Fire, which sent five engines, four dozers, two airtankers, and a helicopter, and from CAL FIRE, which sent five engine strike teams, still in the area after the Sherpa Fire. In the two-hour-long battle, the airtankers made four water drops aided by the helicopter, according to County Fire Captain Dave Zaniboni.
The Cat Canyon incident, which Zaniboni said moved at a “very slow rate of spread,” threatened no structures. One oil well is situated near the fire, but it “seems to be out of threat at this time,” he said. The fire’s cause wasn’t immediately known.