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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 7:15 am | Fair 35º


Santa Barbara Firefighters Battle Wind-Whipped Palm Tree Blaze

Firefighters kept busy chasing down sparks from blaze on Haley Street

Sparks fly from a palm tree that caught fire Saturday night on Haley Street in Santa Barbara.
Sparks fly from a palm tree that caught fire Saturday night on Haley Street in Santa Barbara. (Urban Hikers photo)

A palm tree fire whipped by gusty winds kept Santa Barbara city firefighters busy Saturday night preventing a larger blaze.

The fire was reported at about 9:30 p.m. on Haley Street at Rose Avenue.

High winds pushed the dead palm fronds into power lines, causing sparking that set the upper third of the tree on fire, according to fire Battalion Chief Jim McCoy.

"That got going, and due to the wind, was blowing a lot of burning palm fronds and sparks down the block toward Hayward Lumber and other businesses," McCoy said.

The Fire Department stationed crews along the block to chase down any sparks before they could ignite a larger fire, McCoy said.

While the initial blaze was doused fairly quickly, firefighters remained on scene for a couple hours as a precaution.

Southern California Edison Co. crews arrived fairly quickly, McCoy said, and after assessing the situation planned to cut down the tree.

More gusty conditions are expected Sunday night, which will keep firefighters on alert, McCoy said.

"The wind and the power lines and the trees are never a good combination," he added.

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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