2 men, ranch are charged in Zaca Fire

first_imgSANTA BARBARA (AP) – Two men and a cattle ranch were charged Friday with felony crimes for allegedly starting a fire that has burned 375 square miles of wilderness in Central California and injured 44 firefighters. The Zaca Fire was ignited July 4 by sparks from grinding equipment being used to repair a water pipe near Los Olivos in northern Santa Barbara County, authorities have said. It was 95 percent contained Friday after burning through 240,207 acres of rugged lands in Los Padres National Forest. Full containment was expected Tuesday. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Jose Jesus Cabrera, 38, of Santa Ynez; Santiago Iniguez Cervantes, 46, of Santa Maria; and Rancho La Laguna LLC were charged with four felony counts each. The men could face up to nine years in state prison if convicted, according to a statement from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office. The defendants also could be billed for the $114 million cost of fighting the fire, authorities said. The men were not in custody, Senior Deputy District Attorney Jerry N. Lulejian said. They were scheduled for arraignment Sept.20. The men were working at the ranch when the fire erupted, said Robert Sanger, an attorney for Cabrera.last_img read more