Downed power lines were blamed for starting a vegetation fire that consumed 260 acres in the Cuyama Valley on Sunday afternoon, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said county firefighters and U.S. Forest Service crews were dispatched to the scene at approximately 3:20 p.m.
The blaze, dubbed the Cebrian Fire, was burning near Perkins Road and Cebrian Avenue, about 55 miles east of Santa Maria.
“When units arrived, they found a fast-moving fire that was spotting ahead of itself,” Zaniboni said.
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“Initially reported as just a couple of acres, the fire spread very rapidly in grass and light flashy fuels, with a strong wind pushing it.”
Winds from the west were reportedly blowing at 20 mph, he added.
By 5:15 p.m., however, firefighters had stopped the fire from spreading toward the east, helped by plowed fields nearby, Zaniboni said.
The fire was fully contained by 8 p.m. Sunday, he said.
Firefighters also battled flames near a residence and expressed concern about the county fuel tank at the Cuyama Airport, before dealing with the hazards to those structures.
As flames were moving, firefighters had concerns about a row of 25 residences, but firefighters worked to stop the threat.
In addition to engines, the force battling the blaze included air tankers, at least one helicopter, bulldozers and hand crews.
PG&E crews also responded to repair damaged power poles and lines in the area.