Local

Park Hill Fire, Day 4: Fire could be fully contained in a few days

Michael Sheppard, left, and Josh Trembeth with the U.S. Forest Service work to extinguish burning embers underneath a tree Monday, June 22, 2015, as they mop up at the site of the Park Hill Fire.
Michael Sheppard, left, and Josh Trembeth with the U.S. Forest Service work to extinguish burning embers underneath a tree Monday, June 22, 2015, as they mop up at the site of the Park Hill Fire. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The Park Hill Fire was 90 percent contained Tuesday, and Cal Fire began the process of demobilizing its force of more than 600 firefighters who responded to the 1,800-acre blaze.

“We are rapidly demobilizing fire equipment and personnel as this fire winds down,” said Rob Lewin, Cal Fire chief for San Luis Obispo County. “However, we will continue to have firefighters on the scene until the fire is completely out.”

Firefighters hope to have the fire 100 percent contained within the next couple of days. Firefighters from all over the state responded to the blaze, which burned east of Santa Margarita.

Firefighters who are demobilized have their vehicles inspected, fill out their timecards and turn in any equipment that they have checked out. They also must get a night’s rest so they are able to safely drive their vehicles.

“They are then sent home or to another fire,” Lewin said.

There are seven other fires burning in California, including several in Madera County as well as in San Bernardino, Alpine, Trinity and Ventura counties.

At its height, nearly 650 firefighters were battling the Park Hill Fire using 45 engines, six helicopters and six bulldozers. The cost of the blaze is estimated to be $2.8 million.

It was sparked Saturday afternoon by an unknown vehicle driving on Las Pilitas Road that ejected a hot chunk of carbon from its exhaust pipe and ignited grass along the roadside.

Two homes were destroyed, as well as four mobile homes, two recreational vehicles used as primary residences, 10 outbuildings and seven vehicles, including a boat and trailer.

Two firefighters suffered knee and foot injuries, and one woman asked firefighters for a bandage for a cut on her hand, Cal Fire spokeswoman Es Berliner said.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune

  Comments