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CA: Electrical Arc Causes Fire

Santa Barbara, California: A fast-moving vegetation fire that scorched 10 acres Monday afternoon at Highway 101 and Refugio Road was caused by an electrical arc, Capt. David Sadecki, a Santa Barbara County fire spokesman, said Tuesday.

The electrical fire, which broke out about 4:30 p.m. on the northbound side of the highway, threatened one structure and sent a plume of black smoke into the sky that was seen for miles.

Temperatures at the time were in the mid 80s with little wind.

The fire was contained at 7 p.m., but firefighters stayed at the scene for several hours mopping up, according to Sadecki. There were no injuries.

Sadecki said that an investigation showed the fire originated at the base of one of the power poles where the support line is anchored into the ground. The fire started when a bird caused the electrical power to arc and go to ground, down the support stay line, igniting the vegetation around the support line anchor.

Ground and air units, including two helicopters and two Cal Fire air tankers, fought the blaze.

Additionally, eight engines, two water tenders, three dozers, two hand crews and two chief officers responded.

Access to the fire was difficult because of limited roads in the area and steep terrain, according to Sadecki. The two helicopters made numerous drops to slow the forward progress of the fire, while air tankers worked the flanks.

Traffic on Highway 101 was slowed in the area of the fire, but the highway remained open.

Story via syvnews.com


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