Lopez Fire was caused by an improperly extinguished campfire, Cal Fire says

The Lopez Fire was caused by an improperly extinguished campfire, Cal Fire spokesman Adan Orozco said Tuesday.

Fire officials are still investigating to find the person responsible, Orozco said. He asked anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 805-549-7867.

The Lopez Fire broke out around mid-afternoon Saturday near the area of Upper Lopez Canyon Road and Wittenberg Creek Road and spread quickly, threatening 24 structures and prompting evacuations.

The fire eventually burned into the Los Padres National Forest, and 660 firefighting personnel worked to extinguish the blaze, according to Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service.

Los Padres National Forest spokesman Andrew Madsen said the area hadn’t burned since at least the mid-1980s.

Evacuation orders were lifted Monday morning. As of Monday night, Cal Fire said the blaze was 50 percent contained. That containment number remained the same as of Tuesday morning, Orozco said.

Orozco added that the agency expects “higher winds and drier conditions” on Tuesday as the weather heats up, and said Cal Fire is urging firefighters to stay hydrated. He also asked people to be fire safe during the scorching weather.

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Gabby Ferreira is a breaking news and general assignment reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. A native of Houston, Texas, she was a reporter in Tucson, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Palm Springs, California, before moving to San Luis Obispo County in 2016.