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Evacuations underway as wildfire burns near Avila Beach

A wildfire broke out Monday afternoon near Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County, prompting authorities to close the 101 Freeway and evacuate residents, fire and law enforcement agencies said.

The fire began burning about 3 p.m., near the intersection of Avila Beach Drive and the 101, east of Avila Beach, the San Luis Obispo County Fire Department said. By 4:45 p.m., the fire had spread to 300 acres, the department said. It was 0% contained as of 5 p.m., according to Cal Fire.

The 101 has been closed to northbound traffic near Pismo Beach. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, citing the need to keep secondary routes open to first responders, asked people to refrain from nonessential travel between San Luis Obispo and the Shell Beach area.

Authorities established an evacuation center in the parking lot of a Walmart at 1168 W. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande. Deputies are evacuating residents of Greg Canyon Road, Live Oak Lane, Indian Knob Road and Monte Road, as well as those who live in the neighborhood above Mattie Road and east of the 101, the department said.

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The sheriff’s department has issued an evacuation warning to residents living in the area east of the 101, between North Bello Street and Price Canyon Road, meaning people living in this area must “be prepared to evacuate on a moment’s notice,” the department said on Twitter. “If you have to evacuate, head south.”

“This is a dynamic situation,” the sheriff’s department added. “If you feel you are in danger, leave the area immediately.”


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