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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 3:59 pm | Fair 62º


Fire Breaks Out in Santa Ynez Riverbed Near Lompoc

A small fire burned Friday night in the Santa Ynez riverbed near Lompoc, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

Personnel from the Lompoc and Santa Barbara County fire departments responded to the incident shortly after 6:30 p.m.

Firefighters said the blaze burned in medium brush in the dry riverbed, but they had trouble accessing the location. Some crews tried to reach the site from the end of 12th Street.  

Reports of gunshots were heard before the blaze was reported, so fire crews requested that law enforcement officers accompany them into the area after meeting in River Park, according to emergency dispatch reports.

Later, crews said the fire burned in the riverbed on the west side of the river and that explosions appeared to be related to propane tanks, according to emergency dispatch reports.

The fire's foward progress was stopped at 7:45 p.m. after burning an area 100 feet by 100 feet, Zaniboni said.

The area appeared to be a homeless encampment and burned both brush and belongings, he added.

Multiple fires, drug use and other violent crimes prompted Police Chief Pat Walsh to recommend that the City Council authorize crafting a plan to evict illegal encampments in the riverbed in the coming months.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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