Red flag warning issued through Sunday evening, with potential for local power shut-off
The Real Fire that broke out Thursday afternoon had burned an estimated 420 acres with 50 percent containment as of Friday night, authorities said.
The fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. Thursday on the northbound side of Highway 101 near El Capitan Canyon. The blaze prompted several evacuations and resulted in a full closure of the 101 for several hours Thursday evening, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Officials reported the blaze had covered nearly 450 acres as of Thursday night, though more accurate mapping reduced the size of the blaze by about 30 acres. Containment of the fire was expected to increase throughout the day Friday, said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, spokesman for the county Fire Department.
A total of 105 firefighters were on scene Friday, as crews worked to reinforce fire lines.
Evacuation orders were issued for campgrounds at El Capitan Canyon and El Capitan State Beach. Evacuees were able to access the El Capitan Canyon campground Friday afternoon, though the state beach campgrounds remained closed.
A separate vegetation fire broke out around 11:15 a.m. Friday in the 7700 block of Highway 101 near Palmer Road north of Los Alamos. A full vegetation response was launched and arriving units found a two- to four-acre fire burning in light to moderate fuels at a rapid rate of spread due to heavy winds. Ground crews were joined by air tankers and three helicopters.
There was no reports of structures threatened and no injuries were reported, Capt. Bertucelli said.
The cause of both fires remain under investigation, authorities said.
The National Weather Service in Oxnard has issued a red flag warning for the South Coast and local mountains. The warning went into effect Friday afternoon and will remain in place until 10 p.m. Sunday. Critical fire weather conditions were expected, with north winds of 20 to 35 mph and gusts up to 70 mph.
Strongest winds were expected to occur during the evening and overnight hours and below passes along the Santa Ynez Mountains. Relatively humidity levels as low as 10 to 25 percent were expected.
Residents were advised to take appropriate precautions and report any sign of smoke immediately by calling 9-1-1.
The high risk of fire has resulted in the potential for a Public Safety Power Shut-off by Southern California Edison for some areas of the county.
The outage could affect an area from Buena Vista Avenue in Montecito through parts of Summerland, as well as the intersection of Linden Avenue and State Route 192 in Carpinteria. The outage could extend as far north as the end of Toro Canyon Road and the mountain side of the 101.
The potential outages may extend to the city of Goleta, including coastal areas west of Goleta from Gaviota to Jalama Beach along the 101. Unincorporated areas between the cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara also may be affected, starting from Paradise Road down Turnpike Road to More Mesa.
The outages will last as long as potentially dangerous weather conditions exist, plus the amount of time it takes the power company to inspect and repair equipment in the affected areas. Residents are advised to prepare for a power outage that could last up to five days.For more information on the potential outage, contact Edison at 800-611-1911 or visit www.sce.com/safety/wildfire/psps. For tips on how to prepare for outages and emergencies, visit www.readysbc.org.