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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 12:07 am | Fair 52º


Crews Responding to Vegetation Fire Encounter Man Armed With Knife

Incident occurred in a rural area along the 1900 block of San Marcos Road in hills above Santa Barbara

Law enforcement was called to the scene of a small vegetation fire along North San Marcos Road Monday afternoon when responding firefighters were confronted by a man armed with a knife. Click to view larger
Law enforcement was called to the scene of a small vegetation fire along North San Marcos Road Monday afternoon when responding firefighters were confronted by a man armed with a knife. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

Firefighters who responded Monday afternoon to a small vegetation fire off North San Marcos Road in the hills above Santa Barbara encountered a suicidal man armed with a knife, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Fire crews from the county and the U.S. Forest Service were dispatched shortly after 4 p.m. to the 1900 block of North San Marcos Road, and the first units arriving in the area reported seeing smoke.

The area of the fire was at the bottom of a canyon, down a narrow dirt road, and the suicidal man, whose name was not released, was described as "very agitated," according to personnel on scene.

“The property owner and neighbors assisted with helping to knock the fire out,” Kelly Hoover, a sheriff’s spokeswoman, told Noozhawk. “The property owner and the firefighters talked to the subject, who agreed to get rid of the knife.”

Law enforcement was called in, and the suicidal man was detained by sheriff’s deputies, and taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for a mental-health evaluation, Hoover said. 

The fire burned a 20-by-50-foot area of vegetation, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Cause of the blaze was under investigation by the U.S. Forest Service.

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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