Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch title=
Photo: Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department
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Source: Santa Barbara County Fire Department

The Caballo Fire that occurred on September 6, 2021 and burned almost 70 acres was caused by a weed and vegetation burning operation. Fire Investigators determined that a propane fueled torch was used to eradicate weeds and vegetation without a fire department permit. The fire escaped the control of the operator and caused the Caballo Fire.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department does not recommend using torches or open flames for weed or vegetation control. A permit from the Fire Department is required for anyone operating a torch or an open flame device in a wildfire risk area. Anyone with questions regarding how to obtain a permit can contact or 805-686-5077. Anyone with additional information regarding the fire can contact fire investigators at

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 September 6, 2021: Caballo Fire in Santa Ynez

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ryder Sep 16, 2021 08:55 AM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

Live right down the road, and have lived out here my whole life. In the past 5 years we've had more grass and brush fires out here than I ever remember in the 35 or so years before that. Yes, it is hotter, and drier. But every fire was caused by human error: hot ashes in a trash bin, using an angle grinder on metal in tall grass, a hot weed trimmer left in dry grass... now setting weeds on fire. Sounds harsh but... there's just more people out here in the sticks now, and it seems some of them are lacking that old-school country common sense.

3P14159 Sep 16, 2021 06:46 AM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

fine them AND lock them up. otherwise some idiotic bureaucrat will decide to "forgive" them - AT THE TAXPAYER EXPENSE !

FollowingScienc... Sep 15, 2021 11:34 AM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

This was a horrifying event for many. People, livestock, horses, everyone. There were many mandatory evacuations and, had responding Agencies not done a magnificent job, many could have been hurt, killed, lost their homes and ranches. #CaballoFire pulled resources (Fire Aviation in particular) AWAY FROM other wildfires out of this region. By my count a minimum of *twelve agencies* between Paso Robles, VAFB, LPNF, and Ventura County (and those in between) responded.

Who should pay for this? The idiot who disregarded Fire Danger conditions and initiated this burn-without-permit plus whomever hired them; if applicable.

Strongly encourage any and all who agree to write a strongly worded letter to SBCFD, DA’s Office and demand financial accountability as well as any fines which can possibly be levied.

dukemunson Sep 15, 2021 08:40 AM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

It was probably done from a good place of wanting to use a green alternative to roundup for weed abatement.

Luvaduck Sep 15, 2021 08:27 AM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

Fine the hell out of them. There is NO excuse for this with all that everyone knows about the fire hazard of living here. Pure ego.

PitMix Sep 17, 2021 08:57 AM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

"Cash was prosecuted for starting the fire and was sued by the federal government to recover the cost of fighting the fire, which was covered by his insurance companies. He claimed to have been fined $125,000, which was later reduced to $82,000."

Bet fighting the fire and helping the condors cost more than that.

Mas Gaviota Sep 15, 2021 03:06 PM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

Johnny Cash got fined for accidentally starting a 500 acre fire in 1967 . It was in the Sespe wilderness area and resulted in the death of 49 California Condors.

PitMix Sep 15, 2021 02:24 PM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

They've never made anyone pay for the costs of the resulting fire. Remember the Zaca fire started by a welder? They forgave them. Really all the people could do anyway is declare bankruptcy and wipe the debt off the books because the firestarters are usually poor people with few resources.

Channelfog Sep 15, 2021 08:00 AM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

Yes, goats would have been much less expensive than what the fire dept will charge for putting it out. I hope!

NostraChumash Sep 14, 2021 05:12 PM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

Who else?..
Enjoys doing projects by hand, or
" manually"..regardless of size?
I've even made my own scyth out of scrap once.
It's beautiful, peaceful (QUIET!!!).
And fulfilling.

Seabird Sep 14, 2021 02:11 PM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

It was a windy 95 degrees that day in Los Olivos. I cannot imagine how they even had a burn permit. I also wonder why there aren't more mulching operations for clearing vegetation from ranches, instead of the burning that goes on half the year?

915films Sep 14, 2021 02:40 PM
Caballo Fire Caused by Propane Torch

"... was caused by an unpermitted weed and vegetation burning operation, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department."

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