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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 10:27 pm | Fair 51º


Vegetation Fire Chars About 10 Acres in Tepusquet Canyon Area East of Santa Maria

Fire retardant around a vegetation fire Click to view larger
A ring of fire retardant surrounds a vegetation fire that broke out Friday afternoon in the Tepusquet Canyon area east of Santa Maria. About 10 acres were charred. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

Firefighters responded Friday afternoon to a vegetation fire in the Tepusquet Canyon area east of Santa Maria.

Crews were dispatched at about 2:35 p.m. to the blaze near Tepusquet Road and Blazing Saddles Drive, said Mike Eliason, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Firefighters on scene gave an initial size-up of six acres for the fire, which was spreading slowly and burning mainly in light grass.

They later updated the size to 10 acres, and said containment lines were holding.

At 6:30 p.m., Eliason said the blaze was about 70 percent contained, and crews were expected to remain on scene for several more hours until it was completely out.

Due to the remoteness of the blaze, ground crews had difficulty reaching the flames, Eliason said.

"It took a long time to get ground resources up there," he noted.

A water-dropping county helicopter was deployed, along with additional air resources, he added.

Their plan was to "paint a box" of fire retardant to help contain the fire, Eliason said.

The fire had the potential to grow to 200 acres if it became established in the vegetation, Eliason said.

Temperatures in the area were in the upper-80s, with winds to 20 mph, Eliason said.

Cause of the fire remained under investigation. 

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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