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Saturday, March 23 , 2019, 2:19 am | Fair 50º


2nd Alarm Called for Vegetation Fire in Happy Canyon Area of Santa Ynez Valley

Blaze in area of Happy Canyon Road and Alisos Avenue estimated at 60 acres, 50% contained


A second alarm was called Thursday afternoon for a vegetation fire burning in the Happy Canyon area of the Santa Ynez Valley, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Firefighters responded at about 12:45 p.m. to the blaze in the area of Happy Canyon Road and Alisos Avenue, north of Lake Cachuma.

County Fire and U.S. Forest Service crews were dispatched to the fire, which started out burning in light grass, said Mike Eliason, a Fire Department spokesman.

The initial size-up for the wind-driven blaze was 10 acres, Eliason said, adding later that the forward progress had been stopped at about 50 acres.

However, shortly before 3 p.m., the incident commander reported that the fire had jumped containment lines, pushed by gusty and erratic winds, and called a second alarm, Eliason told Noozhawk.

There were structures threatened for a time about a mile from the flames, Eliason said, but none was damaged, and no injuries were reported.

helicopter drops water on vegetation fire Click to view larger
A Santa Barbara Count helicopter makes a water drop on a 60-acre fire the broke out Thursday afternoon in the Happy Canyon area of the Santa Ynez Valley. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

However, by 9:30 p.m., the fire was estimated at 60 acres, and 70 percent containment, Eliason said, with full containment expected by Friday morning.

"The majority of the fire is in steep canyons," Eliason said. "Firefighters will remain on scene all night."

The blaze was sparked by a hay combine working in the area, Eliason said.

Smoke from the fire was visible from throughout the valley.

Two helicopters and three air tankers were requested to help battle the blaze, Eliason said.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

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.

smoke from vegetation fire Click to view larger
Firefighters responded Thursday afternoon to a vegetation fire in the Happy Canyon area of the Santa Ynez Valley. The blaze charred about 60 acres. (Ashley Salter photo)

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