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2 fires near Santa Margarita caused by lightning, Cal Fire says

Update, 4:45 p.m.

Investigators have confirmed both the Camatta and Red fires were started by lightning, according to Cal Fire.

The Red Fire is holding at 450 acres and is 45 percent contained, Cal Fire said. Crews will be working on containment and hot spots throughout the night.

Update, 4:10 p.m.

The Red Fire is holding at 450 acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service, and is 30 percent contained. The fire appears to have been caused by lightning, the Forest Service said.

Update, 3:30 p.m.

The Camatta Fire is holding at 70 acres and is 50 percent contained, according to Cal Fire, and crews will be doing “heavy mop up” for the next several hours.

Update, 3:20 p.m.

Forward progress has been stopped on both the Camatta and Red fires, Cal Fire said. The Camatta Fire is at 71 acres, and the Red Fire is at about 500 acres.

Update, 2:30 p.m.

The Red Fire has burned approximately 500 acres, according to Cal Fire, and it is 20 percent contained. Cal Fire is in unified command with the U.S. Forest Service on this fire.

Update, 1:30 p.m.

The Camatta Fire has burned 80 acres and is 35 percent contained, according to Cal Fire spokesman Chris Elms. Elms added that “there’s still a lot of open line and a lot of mop-up,” but the fire is “looking pretty good.” There was a structure threat, but it has been mitigated, Elms said.

Update, 12:30 p.m.

One of the fires, which Cal Fire is calling the Red Fire, has burned 80 acres and is zero percent contained. Activity on the Red Fire is increasing, Cal Fire said. The other fire, called the Camatta Fire, has burned 40 acres and is 25 percent contained.

Update, 11:10 a.m.

One of the fires has burned 5 acres and the other fire has burned more than 40 acres, Cal Fire said. Both are spreading at a moderate rate.

Original story:

Firefighters are responding to two brush fires that broke out east of Santa Margarita on Wednesday morning.

The fires are in the area of Highway 58 and Red Hill Road, Cal Fire said about 10:30 a.m. The fires were possibly caused by lightning, Cal Fire said.

About 10:30 a.m., PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey said that a band of thunderstorms is moving westward through the Central Coast, meaning that scattered lightning strikes, rain and hail are likely.

Additional details were not immediately available.

This story will be updated.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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