Avila Beach fire sparked by tree falling into power line

newsroom@thetribunenews.comMay 6, 2014 

UPDATE 6:35 p.m. Wednesday: Cal Fire said Wednesday evening that the cause of the fire was a tree blown down by high winds into a PG&E power line above the Avila Beach Golf Resort.

UPDATE 2:40 p.m. Wednesday: Cal Fire investigators are still determining the cause of a 10-acre brush fire that threatened a resort in Avila Beach on Tuesday afternoon, a Cal Fire spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The Avila Beach Golf Resort and nearby San Luis Bay Inn were briefly evacuated, and a portion of Avila Beach Drive was closed for about 45 minutes.

Fire engines remained on the scene overnight and the last one left at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, the spokeswoman said. A hand crew remained on site to put out any hot spots that might occur.

Two power lines went down in the fire, knocking out power to about 820 customers Tuesday, PG&E spokesman Blair Jones said. Power was restored to about half the customers by 7 p.m. and to all but 12 customers by midnight. Those final customers had power by morning, he said.

Original story: Firefighters subdued two brush fires in Avila Beach on Tuesday, including one that prompted a brief evacuation of the San Luis Bay Inn.

Both fires were reported about 5:45 p.m. with downed power lines in the area. The largest grew to 10 acres before Cal Fire crews declared it contained about 7:20 p.m. The fire burned in the area of Ana Bay Road and Avila Beach Drive, near the inn and the Avila Beach Golf Resort.

Two air tankers, a helicopter, a dozer and ground crews attacked the blaze, which was whipped by winds blowing at 10 to 15 mph from the north, a Cal Fire spokeswoman said.

Avila Beach Drive was closed from First Street to Port San Luis for about 40 minutes, according to the CHP.

A quarter-acre fire also was put out near Cave Landing Road and Avila Beach Drive. Firefighters were expected to remain at both sites overnight.

More than 400 customers lost power. Service was expected to be restored to all customers by 3 a.m. Wednesday, according to the PG&E website.  

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