Wildfire

Dramatic video captures CHP officers putting out fire at Cuesta Grade

VIDEO: CHP officers put out wildfire...

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - It's not their normal call of duty but when two San Luis Obispo County CHP officers saw a fire on Cuesta Grade getting out of control, they stepped in to fight it.

"We jumped out with an extinguisher and shovel and just started trying to do the best we could," CHP officer Jason Butler said. 

This would sound pretty normal - if these were firefighters - not a couple CHP officers. 

"We knew that it was spreading pretty fast up the hill," Butler said. 

Early Monday morning, San Luis Obispo CHP officer Jason Butler and his partner, officer Danna - pulled up to a fire on the Cuesta Grade off of Highway 101.

"And fire still had a few minutes before they were going to get here," Butler said.  

So the two officers, who are used to pulling people over for bad tail lights and expired registration, grabbed a shovel and a fire extinguisher out of their police unit and started climbing up the hill. 

"It was climbing rather rapidly, the wind was swirling through here," Butler said. "We knew if the wind caught it, there wasn't much we could do other than diverted traffic." 

The brush fire broke out at about 2 a.m. Monday and burned about a quarter acre.

Two CHP officers arrived at the scene before firefighters did and they immediately sprung into action grabbing shovels and a fire extinguisher. They put out the fire before fire crews arrived.

The dramatic event was captured on video.

An off-duty firefighter from the Lake Tahoe area also stopped to help out by chopping down brush with a machete.

Butler says the firefighters were happy with the work they did.

"They were cool with it, they said something like they stopped it and we mopped it, something like that, it was pretty funny," Butler said. 

It's still unknown what caused this fire - but at the scene, officer Butler did find a chain, which are known to cause fires - and officer Butler also found a bottle of motor oil.

"You got to make sure those chains are up off the highway..those sparks will jump into this tinder and it's off to the races for the fire," Butler said. 

Turns out, the two officers have some experience with this sort of thing. 

"Officer Danna and I were once volunteer firefighters ourselves well before we ever became highway patrollmen," Butler said. 


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