Two fires burning on the Cuesta Grade near Santa Margarita

August 16, 2015

UPDATE 11 a.m.: Fire investigators believe one vehicle likely caused the 100 acre Grade Fire south of Buellton, the Cuesta Fire and the Cholame Fire off of Highway 41 near Shandon, said Bennet Milloy, a Cal Fire public information officer.

Firefighters have made control lines to the north which should keep the fire from reaching homes in Santa Margarita. More than 250 firefighters have limited the fire to a slow spread primarily to the east and to the south.

“They are doing good work,” Milloy said. “It is a lot of steep and rugged terrain.”

Cuesta fire 5

UPDATE 8:30 a.m.: Firefighters from multiple agencies were briefed on the Cuesta Fire at Cuesta Park.

grade 4

UPDATE 5:30 a.m.: The Cuesta Fire has burned approximately 100 acres and remains 10 percent contained. Firefighters are asking motorists to avoid northbound Highway 101 if possible.

UPDATE 1 a.m.: The Grade Fire is 10 percent contained with approximately 150 firefighters working through the night. Two lanes are open on northbound Highway 101.

UPDATE 9 p.m.: The fires burning on the Cuesta Grade, dubbed the Cuesta Fire, have burned approximately 75 acres. Air attack is stopping for the night, though ground crews will continue to battle the blaze.

A photo of cars headed north bound on the grade and the fire beside them.

Cars headed northbound on the grade with the fire burning beside them.

ORIGINAL: Two fires have burned about 40 acres off the Cuesta Grade near Santa Margarita. One structure is currently threatened.

Cuesta grade fire

Shortly after 6 p.m. on Sunday, three fires were reported off the east side of Highway 101 just south of Highway 58. Fire officials believe a Ford truck dragging a chain started the fires.

Two of the fires, the one furthest north and the center fire, have connected and are burning together, Cal Fire reported. Fire fighters are working to keep the fires west of Mt. Lowe Road.

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  1. Jorge Estrada says:

    As we have our summer fires, FEMA emergency funding flows into the fire budjets. So why is it that when we have a water drought, Govenor claimed emergency, we don’t get FEMA money to offset lost water revenue? Are we not using common sense and just accepting water rate increases because we are to lazy to think?

    (-7) 13 Total Votes - 3 up - 10 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      Maybe it’s because they keep driving around seeing all the green lawns and realize we can’t be hurting that bad yet.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. easymoney says:

    According to CHP web site there is a possibility that the Buellton, Cuesta and the 41/46 fires were all started by the same white pickup pulling a popup trailer.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      Yea hadn’t heard on the others yet but did hear dragging chain on the Cuesta one. For the timing of when they all stated, it seems plausible.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. SloHeadInTheSand says:

    All these fires in a very short period of time and ALL along US Highway 101 from south to north. And all suspected to be vehicle caused…



    CATCH THIS S.O.B. !!!!!!!!!!!

    (-16) 26 Total Votes - 5 up - 21 down

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