A fast response by firefighters Tuesday afternoon held a wildfire to a fraction of an acre and prevented it from spreading to trees, brush and houses that clustered around the point of ignition in Santa Ynez.

The fire broke out around 4:40 p.m. on a hillside behind 990 Old Calzada Ave., about 700 feet, as the crow flies, northwest of the Chumash Casino Resort on a day when temperatures neared 100 in the Valley.

But multiple Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews converged on the site down in a shallow canyon and had the flames knocked down and out by about 5 p.m.

The area burned was estimated at one-tenth of an acre.

Firefighters at the scene said they were aided by the fact the areas between the houses clustered along the street and above the hillside had been cleared of tall grass and other flammable debris.

“If the flames had gotten up into the brush and trees, those eucs up there, it could have been a different story,” one firefighter said, indicating some tall eucalyptus trees towering above the oaks between the houses.

Some crews returned to their stations as soon as the fire was out, while a couple remained at the scene for awhile to make sure no hot spots remained that could flare up later.

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News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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