[Scroll to the bottom to see video of the launch.]
With a rumble heard and felt throughout the Lompoc Valley and much of the North County, a rocket carrying a top-secret payload blasted off Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The Delta IV-Heavy rocket soared into sparkling blue skies at 11:03 a.m. from Space Launch Complex 6 on the southern part of the sprawling base.
The rocket and its contrail were visible from Santa Barbara and from much of the Central Coast Region.
The first Delta IV-Heavy launched in January 2011.
Because the mission is classified, no other information was available, according to ULA spokeswoman Jessica Rye.
In the aftermath of the launch, a small brush fire was reported in the area of the launch pad, according to emergency radio traffic.
The blaze reportedly had charred about a half acre, and was being fought by firefighters from Vandenberg and Santa Barbara County. A county water-dropping helicopter was called in to assist.
Check back for updates to this story.