Bonfire built by students caused Montecito fire, sheriff says

A smoldering bonfire built by students on a ridge-top overlooking Montecito apparently sparked last week’s disastrous Tea fire, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Tuesday. Ten men and women, ranging in age from 18 to 22, had gathered at an abandoned property called the Teahouse late Wednesday night and built a bonfire to warm themselves, Brown said.Westmont College, a Christian university with 1,200 students, sits immediately below the mountain ridge where the Teahouse is located. But Brown would not confirm or deny that students from the private campus were involved. more

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