Wednesday, February 21 , 2018, 12:47 am | A Few Clouds 44º

 
 
 
 

Local News

4th Fire in Recent Weeks Breaks Out at McKinley School in Santa Barbara

Authorities believe small vegetation fires likely are related; investigation continuing

Firefighters and police responded Friday night to McKinley School in Santa Barbara after the fourth vegetation fire in recent weeks broke out.
Firefighters and police responded Friday night to McKinley School in Santa Barbara after the fourth vegetation fire in recent weeks broke out. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

For the fourth time in recent weeks, a vegetation fire broke out Friday night at McKinley School in Santa Barbara.

The latest blaze occurred shortly before 9 p.m. on a hillside below the campus at 350 Loma Alta Drive, according to Santa Barbara Fire Battalion Chief Robert Mercado.

He said when firefighters arrived on the scene, they found a 10-by-10-foot area of light vegetation and grass burning.

Crews climbed over a chain-link fence and quickly quelled the blaze, Mercado said.

Friday’s incident comes after three similar fires occurred at the Mesa-area school last month.

“It is highly coincidental that they have all occurred in the same area,”​ Mercado said, adding that an investigator was called out.

He said Santa Barbara police officers also were called out to canvass the area and talk to any potential witnesses.

The cause of the blaze remained under investigation.

Similar small fires broke out at the school on May 6, 19 and 25.

“We’re definitely taking a closer look at all of them,” SBFD investigator Ryan DiGuilio previously told Noozhawk.

“They’re still under investigation at this time and are most likely related,” he said. “We can’t completely rule out that they’re not, but that’s the avenue we’re taking.”

No structure damage was reported in any of the fires.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

A Santa Barbara firefighter sprays down a vegetation fire that broke out Friday night at McKinley School, the fourth such blaze in recent weeks. Click to view larger
A Santa Barbara firefighter sprays down a vegetation fire that broke out Friday night at McKinley School, the fourth such blaze in recent weeks. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)
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