Over the past two days, local fire departments responded to three wind-fueled fires.
The first fire was on Foothill Road in Santa Barbara on Sunday at 3:20 p.m. Another fire ignited at 956 Calle Coritita only hours after the first brush fire started, while a third fire burned a two-story structure and nearby shed.
Although the Foothill Road brush fire scorched half an acre of land, there were no injuries reported as a result of any of the incidents.
According to Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. public information officer David Sadecki, the cause of the fires is presumed to be accidental and wind-driven.
“They had some really small control burns in the area, and [authorities] think that an ember flew due to wind and started the fire,” Sadecki said.
Sadecki said the Fire Dept. grants land owners permission to burn unwanted vegetation in approved areas until 5 p.m.
“It is pretty rare that a permit fire is the cause of another fire,” Sadecki said.
However, despite strict regulations, the burnings can incite uncontrolled flames, especially when strong gusts come into the area. In addition to being the most probable cause of the blazes, Sadecki noted that the winds also prevented firefighters from controlling the situation efficiently.
“It was very windy that day, which hindered the process,” Sadecki said. “Two engines from county and three from city worked under a unified direction and they finally left the scene at 5:08 p.m.”
To battle the second blaze — which was discovered at 1 a.m. — three engines, a truck and a Battalion Chief were sent, according to a news release issued by Santa Barbara City Fire Dept.
As of press time, officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.