Authorities: Cave Fire caused by arson
SANTA BARBARA — On the one year anniversary of the Cave Fire, authorities have determined the blaze was caused by arson.
The fire was sparked around 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2019, in the Painted Cave area near East Camino Cielo and State Route 154. The fire grew to 50 acres in the first hour, but soon after exploded to 2,500 acres as winds drove it down canyons to the west.
Within several hours, the fire charred an estimated 3,122 acres, with no reported containment, said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
The blaze prompted several evacuation orders and road closures, including on the 154, which was shut down for several days after the fire broke out.
Following more accurate mapping, it was determined the fire covered 3,126 acres. The U.S. Forest Service confirmed the cause of the blaze on Wednesday, though no arrests have been made.
No homes were lost and no injuries were reported. Full containment was reached on Dec. 14, 2019.
— Mitchell White
Man arrested on DUI charge in 246 collision
SOLVANG — A Solvang man was arrested on suspicion of DUI following a two-vehicle collision Monday night on State Route 246 near Skytt Mesa Drive near Solvang, authorities said.
The collision occurred at approximately 10:18 p.m. Monday. Officers with the California Highway Patrol were joined by personnel from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and Santa Barbara County Fire Department and determined that Collin Deats, 27, was traveling east on the 246 and made “an unsafe turning movement” directly into the path of a vehicle driven by Ismael Hernandez, 23, of Lompoc, according to the CHP.
Mr. Hernandez suffered major injuries in the crash and was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment.
Mr. Deats was arrested on suspicion of DUI which caused bodily injuries to Mr. Hernandez. An investigation is continuing, the CHP said.
Anyone with information on the collision is asked to contact the Buellton-area CHP at 805-688-5551.
— Mitchell White
Assistance sought identifying theft suspect
SANTA BARBARA — Early in the morning on Friday, Nov. 13, a man was captured on surveillance footage as he broke into a business near the Santa Barbara Harbor, police said.
As he entered, he undressed, caused several thousand dollars of damage and slept until the next morning, said Anthony Wagner, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Police suspect the man was intoxicated. In addition, the surveillance footage shows him acting alone and investigators suspect he came from somewhere near the harbor.
The suspect has a tattoo on the back of his right arm and lacerations on his left hand and arm from breaking a window.
The Santa Barbara Police Department is attempting to identify him. Anyone with information is advised to contact Detective Kyle Rapp at 805-897-2331.
— Grayce McCormick