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Local News

Passing Vehicle Causes 2 Spot Fires Along Highway 101 on Gaviota Coast

Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Los Padres Forest Service crews respond to reported fires between El Capitan State Beach and Refugio Road

Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews respond to spot fires along Highway 101 Tuesday. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews respond to spot fires along Highway 101 Tuesday.  (Urban Hikers photo)

A vehicle reportedly caused two spot fires in the grass along northbound Highway 101 on the Gaviota Coast Tuesday morning.

Crews from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and the Los Padres National Forest were called to the area between El Capitan State Beach and Refugio Road around 11:45 a.m. for the small vegetation fires, Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.

Both fires were stopped from spreading across the roadway or to heavier vegetation, he said.

Most of the responding units were canceled on the way to the scene.

Each fire burned less than a quarter of an acre and an investigator determined the fires were caused by a passing vehicle, Zaniboni said. 

The department was unsure what exactly started the two fires, but they were obviously caused by a passing vehicle, he noted. 

A Santa Barbara County vehicle was cutting grass in the area at the time, but people at the scene didn't think it caused the fires, Zaniboni said. Roadside vegetation fires can be caused by blown-out tires and other vehicle-related issues, he added. 

The California Highway Patrol also reported the multiple fires along the northbound Highway 101 lanes.

No further details were available. 

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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