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Beefed-up staffing helps firefighters respond to emergencies Santa Barbara County

Beefed-up fire staffing pays off during high fire conditions

GAVIOTA, Calif. – Gaviota is already known for gusty winds, but on days with Red Flag Warnings, it can also be known for fast-moving fires.

Captain Tim Gailey credits up-staffing for helping crews get the upper-hand on a fire burning along southbound Highway 101 near Mariposa Reina Monday afternoon.

"The reason we were fortunate to get here is because we were pre-positioned, we were up-staffed because of the Red Flag so it was very advantageous for us to be in the right positions," Gailey said. "This was a small start that was caught and if we weren't here within minutes it would probably have been a larger fire."

County Crews had already been looking out for fires near Refugio and other county firefighters from Santa Barbara County Fire Station 18 worked with them to put the fire out quickly.

The fire burned a small area near plants growing along the side of the highway.

Fire investigators are still looking into the cause.

People reporting fires can help firefighters by paying attention to landmarks and exits when they report seeing smoke or flames. Winds can easily fan flames during drought conditions and heat wave temperatures. They want everyone to be alert.

If you see a brush fire spark, you should call 911 to report the fire.

For Ready, Set, Go Action Plan information visit

Environment / Fire / Lifestyle / Safe at Home / Santa Barbara - South County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County / Video / Weather News
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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