Fires

Officials release cause of Whittier Fire near Lake Cachuma

Whittier Fire 'out of control' near Lake Cachuma

A U.S. Forest Service firefighter surveys flames as the Whittier Fire burns along Highway 154 near Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County on Saturday, July 8, 2017.
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A U.S. Forest Service firefighter surveys flames as the Whittier Fire burns along Highway 154 near Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County on Saturday, July 8, 2017.

The Whittier Fire near Lake Cachuma was caused by a vehicle driving through tall grass, Los Padres National Forest officials announced Monday.

No criminal charges have been filed against the driver, and “due to the age of the driver, no additional details of the investigation will be made public at this time,” the Forest Service said.

The fire broke out on July 8 on the hillside above Camp Whittier and scorched 18,430 acres before reaching full containment on Oct. 5.

The fire forced mandatory evacuations along Highway 154 near Lake Cachuma and was the third-largest fire burning in California when it first started. The fire also destroyed The Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre, home of the Boy Scouts of America, Los Padres Council.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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