Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 1:40 am | Fair 65º


Local News

Arson Suspected in Small Vegetation Fire Near Summerland Homeless Encampment

Suspect taken into custody after blaze that charred about 1/8 of an acre; no injuries reported

Firefighters battling vegetation fire. Click to view larger
Firefighters douse flames from a vegetation fire that broke out Friday afternoon near a homeless encampment on the bluffs below Summerland. One man was arrested on suspicion of arson. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

Firefighters responded Friday afternoon to a small vegetation fire in Summerland that is being investigated as arson.

Crews from the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District were dispatched shortly after 2:30 p.m. to the blaze on the hillside below the southbound Summerland offramp from Highway 101, according to fire Battalion Chief Mike Gallagher.

About an eighth of an acre was charred before crews were able to quickly contain the fire, which occurred near a large homeless encampment.

Subsequent investigation led to the arrest of a resident of the camp on suspicion of arson, Gallagher said.

Witnesses told Noozhawk the suspect may have set the blaze as an attack on another camp resident.

The suspect’s name was not immediately available.

An arson investigator was called in to search for the cause of the fire, Gallagher said.

Train traffic in the area was halted for a time, Gallagher said, but subsequently resumes.

No injuries were reported.

Assisting on the fire were firefighters from the city of Santa Barbara, the Montecito Fire Protection District and Ventura County.

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.

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