Brush fire in Santa Margarita

October 29, 2010

Firefighters are battling a 50 acre brush fire in a rural area of Santa Margarita near the top of California State Route 229 within less then a mile from homes.

The fire was started by fire crews burning brush. The fire is 40 percent contained and currently no structures are threatened, said a California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention dispatcher.

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The Dept of Forestry accidently set brush on fire while deliberately burning brush in a high brush area. Was it a training exercise gone wrong? You’d think they would get it right, no?

“High brush area(s)” near homes are precisely the areas where many fire departments target their fuel reduction efforts. Previously cut brush is then burned during this time of year when the brush is not tinder-dry but not too wet to get an effective burn. Most burning goes off without a hitch but obviously it does happen. Effective burning is usually not a happening but an arranged and approved event with back-up plans in place, just in case.