A welding operation is being blamed by fire investigators for causing a brush fire which forced hundreds of evacuations in Northern Santa Barbara County.
The blaze broke out at around 1:30 yesterday afternoon, just west of Rice Ranch in the Orcutt area. The fire spread quickly, prompting evacuation orders for hundreds of homes.
Santa Barbara County firefighters, aided by air tankers and helicopters, were able to protect structures in the area. They had the fire fully contained by around 5 last night.
The fire was originally estimated to have burned about 75 acres, but was later revised down to 36 acres.