Santa Barbara County fire grows to 1,800 acres, officials say
The fire burning in Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County has consumed 1,800 acres and remains at 10% containment, officials said.
The White fire is “well within” the forest, burning in an easterly direction along the Santa Ynez River, according to the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management. Though the area saw fog and high humidity Tuesday morning, officials were keeping a wary eye on the weather later in the day, when winds are expected to pick up and humidity levels drop.
The National Weather Service has issued a wind warning for Santa Barbara County through early Wednesday, forecasting winds between 20 and 30 mph that could gust between 45 and 65 mph.
The county’s air pollution control district issued an air quality warning, urging residents to “limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when smoke is in the area.”
More than 550 firefighters -- from the county, area cities and U.S. Forest Service -- were battling the blaze, which broke out about 2:45 p.m. Monday, the Forest Service said. Officials guessed between 2,000 and 3,000 people were evacuated.
No injuries have been reported.
The fire swept through the Sage Hill Campground as well as a U.S. Forest Service outpost, where officials said a building and vehicle were damaged and another vehicle destroyed. Officials said 50 residences, five commercial properties and 50 outbuildings or other structures were threatened by the blaze.
Paradise Road remains closed, along with multiple trails and campgrounds. The American Red Cross set up an evacuation center at the Wake Center in Goleta, and officials said large animals could be brought to the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara.
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