Photo Story: Winds Fuel Calif. Fire

Santa Maria City Fire Department battled a stubborn fire in a manufacturing plant on Sept. 24, 2013. 

The first alarm was sounded around 10 p.m. for a fire at 1563 Betteravia Rd.

Units arrived to find a large fire in the yard involving autos, machines, pallets, and outbuildings.

Due to the strong onshore winds and materials involved, a large ember shower rained down onto a nearby residential neighborhood. Firefighters set-up to protect exposures immediately around the fire, and also put Truck 1's aerial up to cool down flying embers.

The nearest hydrant was 1,200 feet away, making fire attack and exposure protection difficult. Also, there were several fences and gates that made access tough for crews trying to stretch attack lines.

Four engines, one truck, two battalion chiefs and a medic unit responded, and declared knockdown just before 12 a.m. Crews remained on scene for several hours overhauling. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.