Monday, June 18 , 2018, 4:14 am | Fair 52º


Local News

Crews Stop Vegetation Fire Reported on North Vandenberg AFB

Forward progress stopped for small fire that started near base weather station and horse stables, officials said

Helicotpers and air tankers fought a vegetation fire that sparked Monday morning on north Vandenberg Air Force Base. Click to view larger
Helicotpers and air tankers fought a vegetation fire that sparked Monday morning on north Vandenberg Air Force Base.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A vegetation fire started on north Vandenberg Air Force Base Monday, prompting a quick response from base firefighters and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The fire was reported just before noon in the area of Firefighter and Corral roads, and was said to be a 4-acre blaze as of 12:45 p.m., according to radio traffic.

At 1 p.m., Vandenberg officials posted a statement on Facebook saying there was a small fire near the stables and forward progress of the flames had been stopped. 

"At this time, base housing and schools are not at risk," they said.

As a precaution, and before the fire was contained, Crestview Elementary School students were evacuated, with parents notified to pick them up at the Cabrillo High School gym. 

Vandenberg Middle School lost power, but classes continued since the students were not in danger, a Lompoc Unified School District official said. 

Helicopters and air tankers battled the fire from above and bulldozers created a line around the incident.

"Because fire crews are working near high voltage equipment, a significant portion of the base power system was intentionally de-energized. Power has since been restored," VAFB officials said after 3:30 p.m.

The power outage and high temperatures forced the Youth Center and Child Development Center to discontinue normal operations Monday. The School Age Care Program at the Youth Center closed for the remainder of the day.

The Youth Center will not be able to pick up children from Cabrillo High School, VAFB officials advised.

"Additionally, classroom temperatures have exceeded acceptable limits at the Child Development Center (CDC). Parents of children at the CDC are asked to pick up their children as soon as possible," VAFB officials said.

The burned area is outside the security gates but still on base property.

The site is near the Vandenberg weather station and horse stables, with approximately 30 animals housed there.

Worried horse owners gathered at the Vandenberg Visitor's Center parking lot seeking information about the status of their animals early Monday afternoon.

The small Corral Road fire is the fourth vegetation fire reported on Vandenberg Air Force Base since Sept. 17.

As of Saturday, officials said the 224-acre Washington Fire on North Base and the 12,742-acre Canyon Fire were fully contained, though federal sources said the Canyon Fire was 96-percent contained at that time.

The 30-acre Oak Canyon Fire, which started near the Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex, was also said to be contained. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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