Friday, April 28 , 2017, 10:27 pm | Fair 71º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Authorities Say 46,343-Acre Chimney Fire Near Lake Nacimiento Was Sparked by Vehicle

The Chimney Fire, which burned more than 46,000 acres and destroyed 70 structures near Lake Nacimiento and the surrounding areas, was started by a vehicle, Cal Fire investigators have determined.

According to a Cal Fire news release dated March 29, investigators concluded that a vehicle ignited dry grasses adjacent to a dirt road, starting the blaze.

Investigators dispatched as part of the initial response to the fire “immediately began working to determine the origin and cause of the fire,” the news release said.

“The ensuing investigation showed contact between a vehicle and dry grass to be the sole cause of the fire that started Aug. 23, 2016, at 4:03 p.m. near Running Deer Road and Chimney Rock Road, south of Lake Nacimiento,” the release said.

The Chimney Fire, which lasted 25 days, burned 46,343 acres of land and destroyed 49 homes, along with 21 other buildings.

Flames along the Santa Lucia ridgeline were visible from Highway 1 at times, and the fire came within 2 miles of Hearst Castle. 

The historic museum was closed from Aug. 20 through Aug. 28 because of heavy smoke and the threat of the fire.

At its peak, more than 3,943 firefighters battled the fire, which was declared fully contained Sept. 6.

[Click here for more stories from the Cambrian and the San Luis Obispo Tribune.]

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >