© snip /3 ABC

Hope Ranch - An unsolved mystery is smoldering on a dirt hillside below Hope Ranch. Smoke and steam are coming out of the soil, very similar to an event in October of 2006. Geologists have said a landslide five years ago may have opened up a crack in the bluff. That may have added oxygen to an underground super heated tar site.

The hot zone is being controlled with sprinklers spraying waters in all directions.

A fence is up in the area to keep inquisitive beach walkers away.

Santa Barbara County Fire officials say there is no immediate threat to the area or risk to the public.

Source: 3 ABC