A hay harvesting operation is being blamed for a Thursday afternoon wildfire that burned about 60 acres of grass and chaparral in steep canyons near Happy Canyon Road and Alisos Avenue in Santa Ynez.
As of 5 p.m., the Happy fire was approximately 50-percent contained, and crews would be on scene all night, said Mike Eliason, public information officer for Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
The fire that broke out about 12:50 p.m. was driven by gusty 15 to 20 mph winds and quickly spread from 10 to 50 acres, Eliason said.
The fire's progress was stopped at 2:03 p.m. with water drops from a helicopter, retardant drops from aerial tankers and fire lines cut by bulldozers and a handcrew.
But around 2:50 p.m., gusty winds spread the flames beyond the protective lines firefighters had established, Eliason said.
At that time, a second alarm was issued for an additional helicopter and aerial tanker, as fire dispatchers said the fire was within one mile of structures.
However, no structures were damaged and no injuries were reported, Eliason said.
A total of three fixed-winged aircraft dropped retardant on the fire, while two helicopters dropped water from a nearby vineyard pond on hot spots, Eliason said.
Nine fire engines, two water tenders, two bulldozers and two handcrews along with a unit from the U.S. Forest Service battled the flames.