Firefighters from three agencies battled another blaze involving a homeless camp in the Santa Ynez Riverbed on Saturday afternoon.
At approximately 3:45 p.m., personnel from the Lompoc, Santa Barbara County and Vandenberg fire departments responded to the incident in the riverbed behind the 2000 block of North H Street, Lompoc Battalion Chief Brian Federmann said.
Firefighters arrived to find a half acre of vegetation on fire.
“A resident of a homeless camp was attempting to extinguish it with a shovel,” Federmann said. “She was evacuated along with another occupant and a dog.”
Crews were at the scene for approximately 2.5 hours, and found numerous encampments in the area.
“Upon investigation, it was undetermined how the fire started, but it is suspicious in nature,” Federmann said.
No injuries were reported.
“The Lompoc Fire Department has responded to other encampment fires in the riverbed area,” Federmann said. “These fires pose a significant threat to the camp occupants, other nearby camps and the residences that live along the riverbed.
“With a little more wind, this fire could have spread through the dry grass to four other encampments that were down wind,” he said.
Earlier Saturday, personnel from all three agencies responded to a fire involving a large debris pile in the 700 block of North Second Street with flames extending to a detached garage at a vacant residence nearby, Federmann said.
Investigators could not determine how the fire started but consider it suspicious, he added.
The detached garage sustained fire damage to the eves, exterior wall and window, Federmann said.
— Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.