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Strong Winds, Power Lines Spark Fires In Long Beach, Seal Beach

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LONG BEACH (CBS) — High winds and arcing power lines at an oil storage facility are believed to have triggered spot fires in Seal Beach and Long Beach Sunday.

In total, the fires burnt about three acres of grasslands near Pacific Coast Highway at East Second Street, Matt Dobberpuhl of the Long Beach
Fire Department said. Some small blazes were also sparked at a busy mall on the eastern shore of Alamitos Bay.

The blazes sent heavy smoke across Pacific Coast Highway, closing the road off-and-on between 10 a.m. and noon at the L.A.-Orange county line.

“There were a group of trees (burning) here and there, and some grass fires
here and there,” Dobberpuhl said.

Firefighters were initially dispatched at 9:45 a.m. to a grass fire at Second Street and PCH, he said.

Dobberpuhl said an employee at the oil storage facility near Studebaker Road went outside and noticed that a tree fire had extended to the grass and into several palm trees.

He also said that same fire is believed to have caused several spot fires in the Marina Pacifica Mall area, where there some burning embers landed on the roof of a Pier 1 retail store. Two trash cans and a storage area also caught fire at the landmark Hof’s Hut restaurant on PCH, and a few cardboard boxes burned at the marina’s Albertsons supermarket.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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