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Joint Investigation Determines Cause of White Fire

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June 03, 2013 09:30AM
Release Date: May 31, 2013 Goleta, CA
Contact(s): Andrew Madsen (805) 961-5759

Following a joint investigation by Los Padres National Forest law enforcement officials and members of the District Attorney’s Arson Task Force, the cause of the White Fire was determined to be accidental. It appears it began as a result of embers escaping an approved fire-use site at the White Rock Day Use Area within the Santa Barbara Ranger District's Lower Santa Ynez Recreation Area.

The White Fire burned 1,984 acres before being contained May 30, 2013. At its peak, approximately 900 personnel battled the wind-driven fire as it swept through the popular recreational areas along the Santa Ynez River. Preliminary estimates put the cost of the White Fire at $3 million.

Los Padres officials again urged the public to be cautious when using fire in the designated Campfire Use Sites in day-use sites and campgrounds.

“The White Fire could have been avoided if this person or persons paid closer attention to their cooking fire,” said Santa Barbara District Ranger Pancho Smith. “Cooking and enjoying campfires are time-honored traditions associated with enjoying our public lands, but we need to be vigilant when using fire during these extremely dry conditions.”

For further information regarding current conditions and safety tips, contact your nearest Forest Service office or visit the Los Padres National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf.

Joint Investigation Determines Cause of White Fire

Rick2702June 03, 2013 09:30AM

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