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California

101 Freeway reopened in Santa Barbara County after closure from brush fire

Real fire in Santa Barbara County
The Real fire broke out Thursday afternoon near the El Capitan campground in Santa Barbara County.
(California Highway Patrol)

A wind-driven 443-acre brush fire burning west of Santa Barbara on Thursday afternoon prompted evacuations and a short closure of a section of the 101 Freeway.

The Real fire is burning east of the El Capitan campground. By 9:30 p.m., it was at 20% containment, and no structure damage had been reported, according to Santa Barbara County Fire.

Residents were ordered to evacuate about 5:30 p.m. from homes along the coast between Dos Pueblos Canyon and Gaviota, about 30 miles west of Santa Barbara. By late Thursday evening, all evacuations had been lifted, except for El Capitan Canyon.

All lanes of the 101 were reopened by 8:24 p.m. after the California Highway Patrol closed the freeway about 5:20 p.m. in both directions in the area of the fire.

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The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Firefighters are facing windy conditions. The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for Santa Barbara County’s south coast and mountain region until 11 a.m. Friday. The area could see north winds of up to 30 mph with gusts of 50 mph.

The winds are expected to increase Thursday night and could remain through Sunday, with critical fire danger forecast for much of Santa Barbara County.

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