Two new fires burning in Santa Barbara's north county

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Two fires broke out in less than an hour of each other late Thursday morning, one in the Santa Ynez Valley and the other near Santa Maria.

Flames were reported in a field near Woodchopper Hill at 11:30 a.m. a few miles north of Zaca Station Rd. Flames could be seen from Ballard Canyon, according to the California Highway Patrol website.

The Woodchopper Incident fire, as it is called, is holding at 5 acres.

Air Support helicopters made several water drops on the fire along with the assistance of fixed-wing aircraft.

Los Padres National Forest assisted Santa Barbara County firefighters along with a Cal Fire crew who were on their way to the Thomas Fire but stopped to help, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Public Information Officer Mike Eliason.

Just after 12:15 p.m. a second fire was spotted at 6968 Cat Canyon Road near the scene of a fire that occurred on Tuesday, by an Air Support unit assigned to the Woodchopper Incident, according to Eliason. That fire is holding at 4 acres.

Eliason said the fire at Cat Canyon Road is being combined under the same incident command in an effort to streamline the ordering of resources to fight the two blazes.

Scanner traffic is describing an aggressive air attack. First Alert Weather expert Kelsey Gerckens said the winds in the area are roughly 4 mph. 

No homes are threatened at this time and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fires is under investigation. PG&E personnel are on scene for live wires down in the area.



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