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Two Major Brush Fires In Santa Barbara County Both Determined To Have Been Caused By Vehicles

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)
A Santa Barbara County helicopter makes a water drop on the Windmill brush fire near Buellton Friday

Fire investigators say two potentially dangerous brush fires in Santa Barbara County last week were both accidentally started by vehicles.

The Cruces Fire started midday Wednesday next to Highway 1 about three miles west of the Highway 1-101 interchange.  It burned nearly 80 acres of brush.  The fire closed a section of Highway 1 for more than five hours, and briefly threatened some ranches. 

Investigators say a passing car started the fire, which was fully contained Sunday.

Then, on Friday afternoon what was called the Windmill Fire started west of Buellton, near Highway 246.   Investigators say the 110 acre blaze was accidentally triggered by a tractor working in a field.  It was fully contained Monday.  No structures were destroyed by either fire.