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Brush fire near Buellton sparked by catalytic converter

Buellton, Calif. – A catalytic converter was determined to be the cause of a small brush fire that prompted a lane closure along northbound Highway 101 and was threatening one structure fire along Highway 101 near Buellton.

The fire, which was called the Park Fire, was first reported shortly before 12:30 p.m. on northbound Highway 101 near Highway 1, just south of Buellton, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The fire had potential to grow to 5-10 acres, but forward progress was stopped at 2-3 acres around 2 p.m., according to the fire department.

The fire threatened one structure, and the resident was notified and evacuated, said Capt. Scott Safechuck.

The brush fire prompted the closure of the northbound #3 right highway lane.

U.S. Forest Service and County Air Support Unit teams responded to assist and engage in a fire attack.

Your News Channel had a crew at the scene.

Fire investigators found catalytic materials ejected from a car's exhaust system, and determined that to be the cause after "meticulously" combing the roadside for evidence, Safechuck said.

A catalytic converter was also determined to be the cause of the Camino Fire that burned nearly 400 acres in San Luis Obispo County last week.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here

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