Illegal fireworks were the cause of a vegetation fire on San Benito Road in the early morning hours of July Fourth. Two engines from Atascadero City Fire, one engine from Paso Robles Fire, one engine from CalFire, one ambulance from San Luis Ambulance and Two Atascadero Police Units were sent to the scene. First arriving engines found an approximate 100’X50’ area of grass and refuse piles burning with impingement to a motorhome and vehicle. During firefighting operations, three – 55 gallon drums of an unknown substance was discovered with one of the drums leaking and reacting with foam and water.
Due to unknown chemical release, San Luis Obispo County Environmental Health and the Hazardous Materials Response Team were activated. Chemicals were identified as a resin used for fiberglass. It took 20 minutes to contain the fire and one hour for mop up and investigation. Fire crews remained at scene for an additional two hours for San Luis Obispo County Environmental Health and the Hazardous Materials Response Team to identify chemical hazards found on scene. The fire was caused by Illegal fireworks used by the occupant. A citation was issued and the occupant will be responsible for costs associated with the fire suppression, damaged fire hose and environmental clean-up.