View Full Version : Mysterious Hot Spot Sparks Fire

07-17-2005, 02:43 AM
Mysterious Hot Spot Sparks Fire

Posted July 11, 2005 at 7:50 a.m.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) -- Scientists are puzzled by a mysterious Los Padres National Forest hot spot where 400-degree ground ignited a wildfire.

The hot spot was discovered by fire crews putting out a three-acre fire last summer in the forest's Dick Smith Wilderness.

"They saw fissures in the ground where they could feel a lot of heat coming out," Los Padres geologist Allen King said. "It was not characteristic of a normal fire."

Fire investigators went back to the canyon days later and stuck a candy thermometer into the ground. It hit the top of the scale, at 400 degrees.

A dozen scientists, including University of California, Santa Barbara, mineralogist Jim Boles, have been looking for answers since August. Robert Mariner, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist who studies volcanic gas vents at Mt. Shasta, Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier was also called in.

"When I heard about the candy thermometer, I was amazed," Mariner said, noting that the temperature of the volcanic vents he studies is typically 200 degrees, around the boiling point of water. "I thought these guys were pulling my leg."

With the help of an air reconnaissance flight and thermal infrared imaging, scientists found that the hot spot covers about three acres. The hottest spot was 11 feet underground, at 584 degrees.

They found no oil and gas deposits or vents nearby and no significant deposits of coal. The Geiger counter readings were normal for radioactivity, and there was no evidence of explosions or volcanic activity.

One possible explanation still under study is that an earthquake fault may be the source of the heat. "We can't rule out anything definitely yet," King said.

07-17-2005, 08:36 AM
Man, it seems like a lot of weird "natural disaster" stuff happens in the state of California. I guess we know where the next Firewalker Convention will be held... no assembly required!

07-17-2005, 09:32 AM
This could be the beginning of the apocalypse, or at least that's how alot of those big budget summer time thrill ride type movies start.

A couple of guys in yellow suits taking all kinds of different readings.....Some kinda urgent, yet mysterious music in the background....All building to the first undeniable cresendo of certainly many......

Whoossshhhh!!! Something blows up or catches fire, and some kinda animal or truck or something, anything that shouldn't be flying through the air is flying through the air...

That's when my eyes roll all the way back into my head.

Pretty far out stuff.

07-17-2005, 10:49 AM
I know for a fact their are many Hot Springs in Las Padres National Park. I wonder if it could be related to volcanic activity.

Also there was a underground fire near where I lived that burned for almost a year near where I lived in Santa Barbara County, not far from the forest.

I hope they find the answer soon.

07-20-2005, 12:09 PM
sorry Guys, I forgot to close the door to Hell after I visited down there :)