Santa Barbara County fire: Second day of high winds expected

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Firefighters battling a 2,025-acre wildfire in Santa Barbara County will have to endure climbing temperatures and high winds Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

A high-wind advisory is in effect for much of Southern California’s mountains, including the Los Padres National Forest, where the White fire has been burning since Monday afternoon.

Temperatures are forecast to climb into the low 80s with wind gusts up to 50 mph. The blaze was 65% contained but remained unhindered on its eastern and northern faces, authorities said.


PHOTOS: Wildfire burns in Santa Barbara County

Residents evacuated from areas near Paradise Road and the Santa Ynez River were being allowed back into their homes Tuesday night, the Forest Service said.

Earlier in the day, wind gusts up to 40 mph forced authorities to temporarily ground fixed-winged aircraft that had been making repeated fire-retardant drops, said Forest Service spokeswoman Paula Martinez.

She said water-dropping helicopters continued to battle the blaze while the tanker planes were grounded.

“The helicopters did a tremendous job today, as well as the firefighters who were assigned to various areas on the lines,” Martinez said. “The lines were truly tested, but so far they are holding.” More than 600 firefighters from several jurisdictions are fighting the blaze.

Flames as high as 30 feet were fanned by the powerful winds, and the fire destroyed one structure and damaged a vehicle and another structure, the Forest Service said.


The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

In Los Angeles County, firefighters stopped a brush fire that burned 149 acres Tuesday afternoon near Valencia.


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