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Rice Fire fully contained

UPDATE: Santa Barbara County fire officials announced full containment of the Rice Fire in Orcutt by 4:20 p.m.

Officials confirmed the cause of the fire to be a welding operation that did not have proper clearance.

Captain David Sadecki revised the acreage from 75 to 36 acres.

All evacuations were lifted before 5:00 p.m.

The flames broke out at 1:30 p.m. at Rice Ranch near the road leading to the oil fields, according to the California Highway Patrol website, along the 1000-block.

Santa Barbara County fire officials confirm 595 homes were under evacuation orders and structure protection was underway for residents between Bradley and Clark Roads. An evacuation center has been set up at Righetti High School, 941 E Foster RdSanta Maria.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s officials issued mandatory evacuations are for the area south of Rice Ranch Rd. and Stubblefield Rd. This includes Via Alba north to El Cerrito and south into the Unical Oilfield.

At one point, Breitburn Energy facility was threatened by the fire.

180 personnel helped in the firefight, including 12 engines, three water tenders, three dozers, three air tankers and one helicopter.

Assisting agencies include the U.S. Forest Service, Lompoc and Santa Maria Fire Departments and Vandenberg.

Cal Fire San Luis Obispo and Los Padres National Forest crews are assisting in the fight.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and no injuries were reported.


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