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One firefighter injured in 15-acre Santa Barbara County brush fire

October 17, 2012 |  1:15 pm


A firefighter suffered a minor leg injury Wednesday while attacking a slow-moving brush fire in Santa Barbara County that threatened about 100 homes and forced mandatory evacuations, officials said.

The Lookout fire, which broke out about 7:45 a.m. near Highway 154 and Painted Cave Road, has scorched about 15 acres, Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. David Sadecki said. At least 40 of the threatened homes were evacuated, but no structures had been lost or damaged.

The blaze burned through steep, rugged terrain, which made it difficult for firefighters to get near the blaze, Sadecki said. Several agencies from Santa Barbara County and the U.S. Forest Service were on hand, along with air tankers and helicopters.

Also complicating efforts were temperatures in the mid-80s and breezy conditions expected to intensify later in the day, Sadecki said.

Downed power lines were found in the area, but Sadecki said investigators did not initially believe they sparked the fire. The cause of the blaze remained under investigation.

The Painted Cave area was the site of a devastating arson fire in 1990 that killed a 37-year-old woman. That $250-million fire burned 427 homes and 11 other buildings in about two hours.


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-- Kate Mather

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