Santa Barbara Wildfire Blamed On Bonfire
LOS ANGELES (AP) ― A bonfire built by college students was responsible for the massive wildfire in Santa Barbara that destroyed 210 homes, many of them multimillion-dollar properties, authorities said Tuesday.</p>
<p>An anonymous tipster told police 10 students gathered last Wednesday evening at an abandoned property known locally as the "Tea Garden," next to an abandoned home in the hills of Montecito, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said. They built a bonfire during the night and stayed until 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. the next day.</p>
<p>They believed that had extinguished the fire before leaving but embers remained and roared to life as "sundowner winds" swept in Thursday evening.</p>
<p>"It appears this fire was the result of carelessness, not criminal intent," said Brown, who declined to say which school the students attend.
<p>Here's the full story. I bet those students feel really bad.......</p>
<p>From the local paper- 40 anonymous calls were made- not 1 of those calls was from one of the 10 students. Honesty, values?
The students are young adults from a local college. They are not saying which one.</p>
<p>The day after the fire my son who goes to school outside of SB heard a rumor that it was kids smoking pot. Probably not such a far off rumor after all.</p>
<p>Even if it was an "accident", will any of the students face charges or have any possible financial responsibility? Sooner or later the name of the school will be revealed. Keep us posted.... Inquiring minds want to know....</p>
<p>Obviously, some people don't take fire safety seriously. For heavens sake, we're in the middle of a red alert (or whatever they call it). Why someone would think having a bonfire during such a time was a great idea is beyond me.</p>
<p>The massive fires in SD in 2003 were started by a hunter who got lost and lit a signal fire (that got WAY out of hand).</p>
<p>His punishment: Sergio Martinez was ordered to spend six months in private confinement that will allow him to continue to work and be free on weekends to perform 960 hours of community service. Martinez also was placed on probation for five years and ordered to pay restitution of $150 a month over that period.</p>
<p>The kids are in big trouble... when I went to get my will done, the lawyer asked - completely out of the blue if I had enough liability insurance. Seems his son started a campfire while on a overnight backpacking trip. Next morning fire seemed out - and they carefully buried it. After they left, a dead tree falls on the fire pit, catches on fire and 400 acres burned... The four hikers were responsible for the cost of getting the fire put out - about 3 Million dollars... ouch... </p>
<p>Yes I added on to my liability insurance that afternoon...</p>
<p>*The day after the fire my son who goes to school outside of SB heard a rumor that it was kids smoking pot. Probably not such a far off rumor after all.
<p>I love Santa Barbara- from my one visit earlier this year- although I do admit Eddie Vedder went on a rant about what a party school it was ( his younger brother went there)
I havent been camping in Ca- but when there is a warning- I don't have any fires , even in a grate- so I can't imagine people being so oblivious when there is a bigger risk.
If you don't have any water- pee on it for pete sake.</p>
<p>It will be interesting to hear what school. The most likely would be Westmont since the fire started just above there. But it could also be UCSB, SB City College or Brooks.
Also announced yesterday- a 16 yr old was charged with starting the Gap Fire which was earlier this year in Goleta. (Montecito, Santa Barbara and Goleta all make up the Santa Barbara area) No details were listed in the paper regarding that fire.</p>
<p>There was a fire in Malibu last year that destroyed 50 homes and was started by young adults partying up in the hills. They were arrested and charged with felonies. I would imagine these kids in SB will be charged as well. They also may face civil lawsuits.</p>
<p>Wow..there are a lot of hateful bloggers at the bottom of that article. The kids who did this have to live with themselves for the rest of their lives. A young couple from our area was badly burned in the fire and will likely go through a long period of medical recovery. My heart goes out to those who were injured and those who lost their homes but let's remember this wasn't arson.<br>
It's hard to realize how long things smolder. I once cleaned out our fireplace only to realize that the ashes were still smoldering in the garbage can twelve hours later.<br>
The Santa Ana winds can kick up fast. They weren't out there thinking it a Santa Ana was coming and they should start a bonfire.</p>
<p>I was talking to a friend and she said that the sad thing is that the kids did believe they had put out the fire. She felt that it could be any of our kids. That kids that age don't always think before they act. Unfortunately in this case the results of them not thinking are severe.
We were saying that it might come out that we know some of the kids.</p>