In Lompoc, riverbed fires may be related to the eviction of homeless people living in the Santa Ynez riverbed.
15 fires have started in the riverbed this year. The most recent was yesterday afternoon, shortly after eviction notices were given to the riverbed encampments.
None of the fires appear to be an arson, although police and fire are investigating. The majority of the fires in the river bed were caused by warming or cooking fires.
The 15 fires and numerous medical calls in the riverbed are straining the resources of the fire department. The fire chief says the demand created by the homeless in the riverbed is impacting the department’s ability to respond to other emergencies in the city.
Recently, the police handed out 66 eviction notices to homeless in the riverbed. The chief says yesterday’s fire was not in one of the encampments.