SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Firefighters responded to a large mulch fire at the Tajiguas Landfill along the Gaviota Coast Thursday evening.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department said the so-called Tajiguas Fire started around 6:20 p.m.
Santa Barbara County firefighters said a large mulch pile caught fire and then spread to vegetation.
Video taken by firefighters at the scene showed mulch and recyclables burning.
The fire department said about a half-acre of mulch burned and about 1.5 acres of nearby brush burned.
Each of the mulch piles at the landfill were about 10 feet tall and 40 feet long, according to the fire department.
There were strong winds when the fire first started and it was initially said to be growing at a "rapid rate of spread."
Firefighters said the wind conditions had improved later on and crews were making progress, although they would remain on scene for some time to reach containment.
Some infrastructure was damaged, however, no other structures were threatened due to the rural location.
"If there were homes down below, this would be a completely different story," said Santa Barbara County Fire spokesman Mike Eliason.
Around 8:30 p.m., the City of Goleta sent a message to residents saying it did not expect any threat to Goleta, however, the smoke could be an issue for several days while firefighters try to contain the flames.
Images from PG&E's Alert Wildfire Camera Network showed a plume of smoke billowing toward the ocean after the fire first started.
Heavy smoke was also blowing over Highway 101, and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department said the CHP was taking cars through the area in groups as of 7:30 p.m.
The fire department said heavy equipment was on scene and checking for spot fires.
A helicopter was dropping water on the fire.
A large excavator was brought in, along with multiple engines and assistance from the Los Padres National Forest Fire Department.
The First Alert Weather Center said winds of up to 45 miles per hour were expected along the Gaviota Coast Thursday evening.