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Crews kept busy fighting brush fires in Summerland and El Capitan State Beach area

Firefighters had a busy Friday afternoon with two brush fires burning in south Santa Barbara County.

A quarter-acre brush fire was reported next to the Summerland off-ramp and U.S. Highway 101 and a second fire of equal size began to burn in the area of US 101 and El Capitan State Beach.

The Summerland fire broke out just before 2:40 p.m. Friday at a homeless encampment, and burned near the railroad tracks forcing train service to be shut down in the area. Officials say the fire was caused by a cooking stove.

The fire burning in the El Capitan State Beach area was reported at about 3:33 p.m. and also forced train service in that area to be shut down. Smoke affected freeway traffic and CHP briefly closed Highway 101 southbound in the area. The fire was reportedly caused by a van driving on the northbound side of Highway 101 that lost a tire, according to CHP.

Both fires are said to be under control by firefighters. The El Capitan fire was put out just after 4 p.m., according to the CHP Traffic Incident web page, and train service was allowed back in the area.

No further details were immediately known.

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