A wildfire shut down more than 15 miles of Highway 1 near Lompoc on Wednesday, according to Santa Barbara County officials.
Pacific Coast Highway was ordered closed to traffic from Highway 101 to Highway 246 while more than 200 firefighters battled the blaze, said Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.
The fire broke out about noon in the Las Cruces area, Zaniboni said. He initially reported that the fire had burned about 150 acres, but revised the estimate to 80 acres after an air assessment. The number may change Thursday after crews map the blaze by ground.
By 8 p.m., the fire was 20% contained and forward progress had been stopped.
Firefighters will probably be on the scene for at least a couple of days, he said. That’s because the fire has spread into a hilly and remote area with no roads leading into it, so containing it takes longer. Firefighters have to hike in.
The land firefighters are most concerned about is to the east of the fire; it’s all grassy open range, oak trees and thick vegetation.
“There’s definitely potential for significant growth if wind carries embers out of the burn area,” Zaniboni said.
A few ranch homes in the 7200 block of Highway 1 were evacuated earlier in the afternoon, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, but the order was lifted and reduced to a warning shortly after.
No other structures were in danger of burning as of Wednesday afternoon.
Times staff writer Alene Tchekmedyian contributed to this report.