California Firefighters Contain 7,000+ Acre Blaze

A wildfire that burned 7,440 acres of brush and destroyed one home in Santa Barbara County was fully contained Thursday, fire officials said.


GAVIOTA, Calif. (AP) -- A wildfire that burned 7,440 acres of brush and destroyed one home in Santa Barbara County was fully contained Thursday, fire officials said.

Cooler temperatures and light winds helped more than 800 firefighters on the lines of the Gaviota Fire contain the fire at around 6 p.m. One-quarter of the blaze was in Los Padres National Forest.

Authorities said 26 firefighters suffered minor injuries, including 13 treated for poison oak.

Fire suppression costs were estimated at $5.5 million. The cause was under investigation.

The fire broke out Saturday in a section of Gaviota Pass, about 27 miles north of Santa Barbara, and burned across narrow canyons and steep hillsides covered with chaparral.

One home in an isolated area was destroyed and three outbuildings were damaged. The fire forced evacuation of hundreds of residents as strong winds whipped up flames. All were allowed to return home.

The blaze caused closures of U.S. 101 at times, but the highway was open Thursday.

Fire damage to train trestles south of Gaviota was under repair, fire officials said.