Fire Out at Vandenberg Air Force Base

Vandenberg Air Force Base | Credit: Airman 1st Class Daniel Myles

A 140-acre fire started at Vandenberg Air Force Base last Thursday evening and was completely snuffed out 22 hours later, hit by 102 fire personnel in 38 vehicles and two fixed-wing and two rotary-wing aircraft. The fire erupted in the hills east of the intersection of El Rancho and Pt. Sal roads, between the coast and Casmalia. No structures at the base — which had launched and landed a SpaceX rocket only the day before — were threatened by the fire, the cause of which is under investigation.

The base has been the location of numerous fires every season. Four that erupted in September 2016 — and killed Ventura County firefighter Ryan Osler — were due to electrical wiring and burned nearly 13,000 acres. Vandenberg has its own fire squad, and this incident was under the command of Chief Dionicio Dehoyos, and included firefighters from Santa Barbara County Fire and members of the 30th Space Wing Security Forces.


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