SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A geologic oddity on Santa Barbara County's South Coast began acting up again on Wednesday.
Fire crews responded to Hope Ranch around 11 a.m. due to smoke rising from the Hope Ranch "volcano."
The phenomenon is related to trapped gas escaping and combusting. It was first observed in the 1800s, according to Mike Eliason at the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
The "volcano" becomes active on occasion and has been known to spark brush fires as it did earlier this month.
Santa Barbara County Firefighters keep a close eye on the smoldering as it happens.
Although smoking Wednesday, only a small amount of the hillside caught fire.