Firefighters responded to a brush fire in the Los Padres National Forest near Santa Ynez at approximately 3 p.m. Monday and have continued to battle the fire throughout the night.
Berry Peckham, a fire information officer at the Los Padres National Forest, said as of midnight the fire had burned over 150 acres of forest and was 5 percent contained. He said the fire is expected to burn throughout this morning and afternoon, but could not predict when the fire would be fully contained.
“The firefighters are trying to hold the fire,” Peckham said. “They are making some progress.”
Because the humidity has been rising and the wind has decreased, Peckham said the firefighters should make more progress today.
Approximately 180 firefighters have been called to the scene, Peckham said: 150 from the Los Padres National Forest Fire Dept. and 30 from the county fire department. He said six fire engines, a paramedic, two bulldozers and a helicopter have been dispatched to help fight the fire.
Peckham said there have not been any firefighters injured, although there were two civilians who suffered minor cuts, bruises and smoke inhalation. They were treated on the scene and released shortly afterward. Peckham said the civilians were found near Red Rock Mine, a plot of private land located within the national forest.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated by the county and national forest fire departments. Peckham said the fire is believed to have started in Cachuma Saddle, where Happy Canyon Road, Sunset Valley Road and Figueroa Mountain Road intersect, six miles from the suburbs of Santa Ynez.
The fire burned northeast, heading away from Happy Canyon Road and toward the San Rafael wilderness, according to the county fire department. As of last night, no evacuations had been reported.
The smoke from the fire was visible Monday from Santa Barbara and Goleta.