Canyon Fire on Vandenberg Air Force Base slows; new fire burns 200+ acres on the base

(UPDATED at 9:50 a.m. PDT September 23, 2016)

Canyon Washington fire
Map of the Canyon Fire and a new fire (Washington Fire) at 1 a.m. PDT September 23, 2016.

The 12,518-acre Canyon Fire on Vandenberg Air Force Base has not spread over the last 24 hours.

However a new fire, named Washington, broke out on Thursday east of the 15,000-foot runway on the base and burned vigorously until it was knocked down by firefighters. As of 1 a.m. Friday it had blackened about 204 acres and is being described by the Air Force as controlled. The preliminary cause is a powerline downed by strong winds. It generated a 0.6-acre spot fire over a mile south of the main blaze.

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(Originally published at 1:56 p.m. PDT September 21, 2016)

3-D map Canyon Fire
3-D map of the Canyon Fire looking east. The red line was the perimeter of the Canyon Fire at 11 p.m. PDT September 20, 2016. The white line was the perimeter approximately 24 hours before. Click to enlarge.

According to overnight mapping the Canyon Fire on Vandenberg Air Force Base on the southern California coast has burned 12,353 acres, an increase of over 2,000 acres from the previous day’s report. Approximately 1,056 firefighters from Vandenberg AFB, U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE, and Santa Barbara County Fire are combating the blaze.

Crews saw very little growth in the fire overnight, due in part to the heavy marine layer and calm winds. This allowed ground teams to further construct and improve containment lines along base boundaries and key rocket launch support facilities. Firefighting aircraft are being used today to assist firefighters ahead of anticipated increases in wind speed, which could gust as high as 30 mph later in the week.

Ventura County Fire Department reported that Fire Engineer Ryan Osler lost his life this morning in a line of duty vehicle accident while assigned to the fire.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.