December 21, 2014
Santa Barbara County prosecutors have filed criminal and civil charges against two workers and a company for an accident that started the 240,000-acre Zaca brushfire, which is still burning eight weeks after it started.
Jose Jesus Cabrera of Santa Ynez, Santiago Iniguez Cervantes of Santa Maria, and Rancho La Laguna are facing six counts each stemming from a pipe-cutting accident in the Santa Ynez Valley which triggered the blaze on the Fourth of July.
Prosecutors filled special allegations in conjunction with four of the charges, because of the more than 40 firefighters injured fighting the blaze.
In addition to the charges, the defendants could end up with the bill for firefighting costs, which now top 114 million dollars.
The fire is now 95-percent contained, with full containment expected next week.
Despite threats to a number of communities in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, no homes have been destroyed, or damaged.