Sunday, October 4 , 2015, 10:40 am | Mostly Cloudy 67º

Investigators Set Up Tip Line for ‘Suspicious’ Cold Fire

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @magnoli | updated logo |

Authorities are still investigating what caused the three-acre Cold Fire in the hills above Montecito on Tuesday, and they’re asking people to come forward with any information they may have.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department investigators are looking for information about the cause of the fire from anyone who was in the area at the time.

The Cold Fire Tip Line is 805.686.5061.

The fire broke out just before noon Tuesday and burned about three acres in steep, heavily vegetated terrain. A strong effort by helicopters and air tankers contained the fire, and hand crews were able to bring hoses in and cut a line in the vegetation around the fire.

The Montecito Fire Protection District announced mandatory evacuations above Mountain Drive on Tuesday afternoon but rescinded the orders and advisories by 2:41 p.m.

“We had an overnight presence on the fire and one hand crew is mopping up today. We will have complete control by this evening,” said Andrew Madsen, public affairs officer for the Los Padres National Forest.

He couldn’t confirm whether law enforcement officers had detained any suspects who possibly started the fire or were looking for a person of interest, but his office does consider the case to be suspicious.

“Our investigators are working with their colleagues in other jurisdictions on the ignition point,” he said.

Crews from the Montecito, Santa Barbara County, the City of Santa Barbara and Carpinteria-Summerland fire departments and the U.S. Forest Service responded to the fire.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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