A brush fire north of San Luis Obispo grew to 2,000 acres Tuesday, but firefighters were able to stop flames that were burning dangerously close to homes.
Winds sent embers along Highway 101, starting several spot fires east of the major blaze burning in the Cuesta Grade, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Residents in Santa Margarita and Miller Flat were ordered to leave their homes.
Firefighters feared that if they were unable to hold back the flames, the Cuesta fire would sweep through Santa Margarita.
But efforts overnight along a dirt road, a quarter-mile away from Santa Margarita, were successful, Cal Fire officials said.
A vehicle sparked the Cuesta fire about 6:13 p.m. Sunday, Cal Fire said. The fire was one of three blazes caused by the same vehicle.
The fire started relatively small but blew up Monday as winds propelled flames across dry brush. More than 1,000 firefighters are tackling the blaze.
Evacuation orders remained in effect Tuesday because of the possibility that spot fires could crop up again.
The Cuesta fire is one of 18 wildfires burning across California, requiring the work of more than 12,000 firefighters.
In Southern California, fire crews have nearly contained three destructive fires.
The 370-acre Lincoln fire in Montebello was 80% contained Tuesday and cleanup efforts were continuing. The blaze broke out Sunday near the Rio Hondo River and swept through an oil field.
A homeless man was arrested in connection with setting the blaze.
In the Angeles National Forest, the Cabin fire has scorched 1,723 acres and destroyed 11 structures since it started Friday afternoon near Azusa, according to U.S. Forest Service. It was 84% contained.
Ten firefighters suffered minor injuries during the firefight.
The Warm fire burning at Lake Hughes Road in Castaic remained at 300 acres Tuesday and was 75% contained. Six vacant structures were destroyed by flames. Four firefighters suffered minor injuries.
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