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Crews Get Full Containment of 18-Acre Bar Fire Near Refugio Canyon

The fire was caused by a bird hitting power lines, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Capt. Adam Estabrook of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department walks back to his engine atop Venadito Canyon near Refugio State Beach during Wednesday’s vegetation fire. Click to view larger
Capt. Adam Estabrook of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department walks back to his engine atop Venadito Canyon near Refugio State Beach during Wednesday’s vegetation fire. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

The vegetation fire that started near Refugio Canyon Wednesday afternoon was caused by a bird hitting power lines, Santa Barbara County Fire Department Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.

“It happens a lot – if a bird gets on there and touches two lines together, (investigators) will find a burned-up bird below the origin point, that’s how they determine it,” he said.

The so-called Bar Fire started about 4:30 p.m. near the 12000 block of Calle Real, north of Highway 101 and east of Refugio Canyon.

It spread toward Highway 101 and some nearby homes, prompting a brief period of evacuations and then evacuation warnings for residents in the area of Venadito Canyon.

It spread quickly at first, prompting responders to divert resources — crews, engines and aircraft — from the Rey Fire to help fight it.

Forward progress on the 17.9-acre blaze was stopped by Wednesday evening and the fire was completely contained by noon Thursday, Zaniboni said.

All crews and equipment had left the scene by 2:30 p.m. and there were no injuries or property damage as a result of the fire. 

The Bar Fire didn’t burn within the Sherpa Fire burn scar, according to the Los Padres National Forest.

Firefighting efforts continue for the Rey Fire burning in the Santa Barbara backcountry, which had charred 31,505 acres and was 39-percent contained as of Thursday morning.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli 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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