Toro Creek fire caused by an off-road vehicle, Cal Fire says

jhickey@thetribunenews.comNovember 8, 2013 

UPDATE 12:30 p.m. Saturday: Cal Fire investigators determined that the Toro Creek fire was caused by an off-road vehicle, Cal Fire spokeswoman Tina Rose said. Vegetation build-up on the vehicle was ignited by the hot motor, and then dropped into the surrounding brush, causing it to catch fire, Rose said.

Rose said the fire, which was estimated to have burned about 75 acres near Toro Creek Road and Highway 41 West, is expected to be fully contained by evening. Firefighters will continue to patrol the area for a couple of days to watch for hot spots or flare-ups, she said.

UPDATE 5 p.m. Friday: The forward spread of the Toro Creek fire has been stopped, Cal Fire spokeswoman Tina Rose said. No structures were damaged or destroyed, and no injuries were reported. Cal Fire is also responding to a fire that was reported around 4:30 p.m. in the Los Padres National Forest, in San Luis Obispo County at the Navajo Staging Area off of Highway 58.

UPDATE 2:40 p.m. Friday: The Toro Creek fire is 25 percent contained. A telephone call center for any members of the public who would like fire information has been opened. The number is 805-543-2444.

UPDATE 2 p.m. Friday: The Toro Creek fire has burned approximately 60 acres of brush-covered, mountainous terrain between Atascadero and Morro Bay. The fire is 15 percent contained, and 12 homes in the immediate vicinity of the fire have been evacuated, according to Cal Fire.

Firefighters are aggressively fighting the fire from the air and on the ground with fifteen fire engines, four air tankers, three bulldozers, five hand crews, two helicopters, and numerous support personnel.

Toro Creek Road has been closed to non-emergency traffic at Summit Road north of Highway 41.

UPDATE 12:20 p.m. Friday: A wildland fire between Atascadero and Morro Bay has grown to 25 acres, and smoke can be seen throughout North County.

The fire is burning in an area of heavy brush near Toro Creek Road and Highway 41 West. Structures are threatened, Cal Fire spokeswoman Tina Rose told The Tribune, but no evacuations are currently in place.

A prescribed burn scheduled for Friday has been postponed because all resources are focused on the Toro Creek fire, including three bulldozers, five crews, four air tankers, two helicopters, and 12 fire engines.

Toro Creek Road is closed to non-emergency traffic at the summit, north of Highway 41. All persons driving on Highway 41 East should be cautious due to the presence of emergency vehicle traffic, Cal Fire said in a news release.

Original story: Cal Fire is mounting a full-scale wildfire response to a 20-acre fire that started around 10:40 a.m. Friday west of Atascadero.

The wildland fire, near Toro Creek Road and Highway 41 West, is threatening structures, Cal Fire spokeswoman Tina Rose told The Tribune.

No injuries have been reported, and officials are not speculating at this time about the cause of the fire.

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