Fire

After wildfires, winter flooding a threat to millions of acres

Oct 25, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

It's Flood Preparedness Week in California, and state officials say they're concerned about water-related dangers at the sites of recent fires, including the thousands of acres scorched this summer in the Whittier and Alamo fires.

Steep terrain hindering Huasna fire fight

Sep 21, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire SLO.

UPDATE 09/21/17: As of 6 p.m., CalFire reports the fire has grown to 244 acres and is 75 percent contained. 

Firefighters continue to battle what is currently a 70-acre vegetation fire northeast of Nipomo, in San Luis Obispo County.

Cal Fire says the Huasna Fire started at about 1:45 on Wednesday afternoon. It’s burning near Huasna Townsite Road and Huasna Road. As of 5 p.m. one cabin was threatened and crews were working to save it.

Cal Fire SLO

A wildfire ignited Monday afternoon near Cholame, east of Paso Robles, burning on both sides of Highway 41, according to CalFire. The blaze, known as the Olive Fire, has burned 150 acres as of Monday evening.

Whittier Fire Update: 87 percent containment

Jul 23, 2017
Whittier Fire Incident Command

The wildfire that ignited July 8 near Lake Cachuma has burned 29 square miles as of Sunday. Fire officials report the Whittier Fire is now 87 percent contained, but it may be the end of the month before the forest blaze is totally extinguished.

Brush fire ignites on Nipomo Mesa

Jul 23, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire SLO

A vegetation fire broke out Thursday afternoon on the Nipomo Mesa in San Luis Obispo County. 

Update: Alamo Fire 100% contained

Jul 20, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire

The Alamo Fire burned for two weeks near the Twitchell Dam east of Santa Maria. On Thursday, CalFire reported firefighters have totally contained the blaze and will spend the next few weeks mopping up. The fire destroyed 45 square miles of oak woodland and one home.

Cambria brush fire forces evacuations

Jul 19, 2017
Megan Schellong/KCBX

UPDATE 7/19/17 8 A.M.: Firefighters extinguished the fire Tuesday night, with three acres burned. All streets are open. 

UPDATE 7/18/17 5 P.M.: Just before 5 p.m., evacuation orders were lifted and CalFire reported good progress made towards containment. 

A fire ignited early Tuesday afternoon in downtown Cambria, prompting San Luis Obispo County to issue evacuation orders for residences and businesses along Main Street and Bridge Street.

Vegetation fire ignites on Foxen Canyon Road

Jul 18, 2017
David Zaniboni/Santa Barbara County Fire

UPDATE 7/18/17 11 A.M.: As of Tuesday morning, 40 percent of the wildfire is contained, as firefighters held back the flames from burning more than 40 acres. Foxen Canyon Road is open.

UPDATE 7/17/17 6 P.M.: Forward motion on the fire stopped at 35 acres. 

Another vegetation fire ignites on Cuesta Grade

Jul 15, 2017

UPDATE 7/15/17 3:37 p.m.: CHP San Luis Obispo reports as of 2:50 p.m., all lanes of Hwy. 101 northbound are open and the fire is extinguished.

UPDATE 7/15/17 9:37 a.m.: Cal Fire says the forward progress of what's being called the Grade Fire has stopped. "Fire is holding to retardant lines and mid slope road. Crews working on hot spots and containment," the agency says in a tweet.

Sophia Mathews/@MsPhias

On the same afternoon the Whittier Fire ignited near a summer camp in Santa Barbara County, another fire broke out east of San Miguel, on the border of rural eastern Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties.

Brush fire closes Hwy. 101 lanes at Cuesta Grade

Jul 7, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire SLO

The Tower Fire that burned 58 acres near the Cuesta Grade is 100 percent contained, CalFire announced at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. 

Residents fleeing Hill Fire find refuge at Red Cross evacuation center

Jun 27, 2017
Megan Schelllong/KCBX

As of Tuesday evening, the Hill Fire burning east of Santa Margarita, in San Luis Obispo County, is 60 percent contained. Since the fire started Monday afternoon around 3:30 p.m., it has burned approximately 1600 acres and at least one home in a rural area of the county. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued Monday evening - that order is lifted as of 7 p.m. June 27. KCBX News visited the evacuation center set up by the American Red Cross and there we met resident Marie Burd, who was forced to flee the home she shares with her husband, a Cal Poly professor, on Monday night.

Mike Eliason Santa Barbara County Fire Department

UPDATE: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 5:46 p.m.

Containment of the Canyon Fire burning on Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in Santa Barbara County was growing Wednesday. In addition, VAFB officials said growth was slowing. 

USFS video still

The U.S. Forest Service wants more women to consider a career in firefighting and as a result, will host a first-ever training camp for women here in California. 

UPDATE: Camp Roberts brush fire now in 'mop-up' mode

May 18, 2016
Camp Roberts Facebook Page

UPDATE: Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 3:54 p.m.

The Comander of Camp Roberts says crews are mostly in the mop-up stage of controlling a roughly 3500 acre fire on installation grounds.

Cuesta Fire: Not everyone leaves when 'mandatory evacuations' are issued

Aug 18, 2015

Those evacuated from the Cuesta Fire are anxiously awaiting word that they can return to their homes.

CAL FIRE SLO

UPDATE: Aug. 17, 2015 at 7:19 p.m.

The size of the Cuesta Fire grew rapidly on Monday. CAL FIRE said Monday night that 500 acres had been scorched since the series of small fires along Highway 101 were first ingited on Sunday night.

CAL FIRE SLO

UPDATE: August 17, 2015 at 10:17 a.m.

Crews working to contain a 100 acre brush fire burning along Highway 101 on the Cuesta Grade, just north of San Luis Obispo, will focus their efforts Monday on keeping the fire from spreading into the Santa Lucia Wilderness. In addition, they'll be protecting power lines and communication towers threatened by the fire.

Flickr member: KOMUnews

Our intense drought has Central Coast fire protection agencies boosting their efforts to crack down on the use of illegal fireworks.

UPDATE - 5:53 p.m. on 06/19/2016:

Santa Barbara Fire Captain Dave Zaniboni said Friday evening that fire crews had gained 90 percent containment.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Fire crews in Santa Barbara County were working to contain a brush fire burning in the hills just south of Santa Maria, Friday afternoon.

Santa Barbara County Fire said investigators believe a bird flying into power lines could be the cause.

Crews were attacking the fire from the ground and air.

Monterey County's only food bank is struggling this week to distribute resources to those in need, following what investigators are now calling an arson fire.  Damage caused by the crime is far reaching.

The Salinas Fire Department said Monday it has video surveillance footage that confirms Saturday's fire was purposely set by an individual.

Santa Barbara County

UPDATE: September 16, 2014 at 4:33 p.m.

The Red Flag Warning in effect for Santa Barbara County was expanded Tuesday to include the county's entire South Coast.

The National Weather Service has issued the warning through Midnight Tuesday. It indicates critical fire weather conditions have moved into the area.

Meteorologists say a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and excessive heat for a fifth straight day is to blame.

Flickr member Michael Newton

The ongoing drought will soon affect your ability to enjoy a fire at a popular spot in San Luis Obispo County for toasting marshmallows and listening to the waves.

The fire rings will be removed following this coming Labor Day Weekend at Olde Port Beach within the Port San Luis Harbor District in an effort to reduce wildfire risk.

The concern is over hot, windy weather that could blow embers onto the adjacent hillsides.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department

An investigation into Monday night's apartment explosion in Goleta shows it was caused by a process used to extract oils from marijuana.

One person was badly injured during the incident and was being treated for third degree burns immediately following the event, according to Santa Barbara County Fire spokesperson Capt. David Sadecki.

It happened at a two-story complex on Elwood Beach Drive in Goleta.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department says the process known as Butane Honey Oil conversion resulted in a flash fire.

County-wide burn ban in place for San Luis Obispo

Jun 30, 2014
Flickr member Jameel Winter

A San Luis Obispo County-wide burn ban goes into effect July 1, as Cal Fire's local unit prepares for the driest, hottest time of the year.

The agency is urging residents to do their part to be fire safe during this critical period.

The burning suspension will remain in effect until there is a significant change in weather conditions or until the end of fire season.

Twitter: @CALFIRE_SLO

THURSDAY UPDATE: 6:11 p.m.—Santa Barbara County Fire Department investigators have concluded that the Miguelito Fire was started when untrimmed trees came into contact with a live power line.

Investigators say a 12,000 volt power line feeding the plant located at 2500 San Miguelito Rd. in Lompoc, contacted a tree causing embers to drop down and ignite the dry brush along the hillside.

Fire Cities Fire Authority

Fire  investigators are looking into the cause of a house fire Monday morning on Platino Lane in Arroyo Grande. Smoke from the hilltop blaze could be seen from as far away as Avila Beach, according to the Five Cities Fire Authority. 

The authority's public information officer Peter Klein said the fire may have started in a lower floor game room. The home's owner tried to initially put it out with a hose after being alerted by a smoke alarm.

A total of 7 people were in the home at the time of the fire, including small children. All made it out safely, said Klein.

An administrative law judge says the City of San Luis Obispo needs to reverse course and bring back binding arbitration for the city's police and firefighter unions.

Back in 2011, nearly 3-out-of-4 voters approved Measure B, which put an end to the arbitation practice. Voters also created the binding arbitration method back in 2000.

The judge says the city didn't follow proper procedure before putting the issue back on the ballot with Measure B. The City Council will meet in closed session this Monday to discuss options, including an appeal.