An Orcutt oil company says some hikers and bikers are ignoring its company's no trespassing signs while hiking along Orcutt Hill Trail.
Pacific Coast Energy Company (PCEC) installed fences and surveillance cameras because they “don't want anyone to get up there and get hurt or have an accident.”
Jim Bray, public and government affairs manager at PCEC, told KCOY 12’s Cory James that “bikes have literally been put over the fence and then climbed over behind them.”
The company says “it's truly a safety and liability issue” and it hopes trespassers entering the oil field will stop putting themselves in danger.
Helen Fylling walks with her husband on the trail a couple times a week. She says she doesn’t understand why people trespass because “there's space all over the place and you can hike for miles and enjoy every minute of it.”
Luis Escobar works with the Orcutt Trail Commission. He tells KCOY 12 “the trespassing issues that are happening are a really a symptom of a greater problem.”
Escobar adds that Santa Maria is the largest city in Santa Barbara County, yet it has the least amount of safe and legal hiking trails for people to use.
Though he acknowledges there is a lack of space, Escobar wants trespassers to know that “what they are doing is disrespecting our neighbors, they’re breaking the law and putting themselves in danger, and they're putting the whole trail project in danger.”
Pacific Coast Energy Company says they have hired a private security company to patrol the area and keep people off of their property.