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Brush Fire 60% Contained After Burning 52 Acres East of Santa Maria

One firefighter treated for heat exhaustion; full containment expected Monday

An air tanker drops a load of retardant on a fire burning Saturday afternoon in a rural area east of Santa Maria. By late afternoon, the blaze had charred 50-75 acres.
An air tanker drops a load of retardant on a fire burning Saturday afternoon in a rural area east of Santa Maria. By late afternoon, the blaze had charred 50-75 acres. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

A vegetation fire burning in a rural area east of Santa Maria had charred more than 50 acres and was 60 percent contained as of Sunday afternoon.

The blaze was reported at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the 2200 block of White Rock Lane, near the community of Garey, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

As of 9:15 a.m. Sunday, firefighters had established containment lines around 60 percent of the blaze, and expected to have it 80 percent contained by Sunday night, fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni told Noozhawk.

Full containment was expected Monday morning.

Recent fire mapping put the area burned at 52 acres, Zaniboni said.

One county firefighter suffered heat exhaustion battling the blaze, and was taken Saturday evening to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, where he was treated and released, Zaniboni said.

Air tankers were able to lay a line of retardant around the fire Saturday afternoon, and stopped its forward progress, Zaniboni said.

The fire was burning in steep terrain, in an area with few roads, which was hampering firefighting efforts.

“They’re having an access problem getting to the fire,”​ Zaniboni said.

An estimated 120 personnel were assigned to the fire as of Sunday morning, down from a peak of about 150.

No aircraft were assigned to the fire as of Sunday morning, Zaniboni said.

Crews from Santa Maria, Lompoc, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Santa Barbara and Montecito also were dispatched to the fire.

No structures were threatened, Zaniboni said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

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.

Smoke rises from a fire burning Saturday afternoon in a rural area east of Santa Maria. Click to view larger
Smoke rises from a fire burning Saturday afternoon in a rural area east of Santa Maria. (Frank Cowan / Noozhawk photo)

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