SAN LUIS OBISPO — The June 15 Avila Fire that burned more than 400 acres “was human-caused and intentionally set,” Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County Fire Department reported on Friday.

The fire was reported at 2:47 p.m. June 15 near the northbound Highway 101 and the Avila Beach Drive offramp.

Emergency equipment from Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County Fire Department and nearby cooperating agencies arrived at the scene and actively engaged in attacking the fire within 6 minutes of the first report. The fire burned 445 acres.

Cal Fire SLO Fire Investigators were immediately dispatched to the scene. By conducting a methodical investigation that included interviewing possible witnesses, they determined the fire was started in a creek bed adjacent to Avila Beach Drive, approximately 70 feet from the roadway.


Investigators determined the Avila Fire was human-caused and intentionally set. This remains an ongoing investigation conducted by Cal Fire SLO Investigators. A list of possible suspects has been developed. Fire Investigators do not find indications of a serial arsonist.

According to Cal Fire San Luis Obispo Unit Deputy Chief Greg Alex, “This was a significant fire where the potential for catastrophic loss of life and property was present from the start. Thanks to the efforts of the men and women who fought the fire and to the citizens that provided Defensible Space around their homes, our community remained safe.”

Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County Fire Department asks individuals who may have information regarding the Avila Fire to contact the CAL FIRE Hotline at 1-800-468-4408.