You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

California wildfire forces thousands to evacuate

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 7/15/2017 Staff report
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated in Southern California as a week-long fire there continues to burn.

More mandatory evacuation orders were issued Friday near the Whittier Fire in Santa Barbara County, bringing the evacuee total up to 2,700 people.

Officials said eight homes and 12 outbuildings had burned. The fire also caused a highway to close.

The fire, which started July 8, is in the Santa Ynez Mountains on both sides of Highway 154. The fire is burning an area that has not burned since 1955, Cal Fire said. That area was one of the more intense fronts of the blaze on Friday, according to the agency.

This Saturday, July 8, 2017, photo released by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department shows a Santa Barbara City Fire vehicle on Highway 154 in the Whittier fire east of Cachuma Lake in Santa Barbara County, Calif. Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western U.S. and Canada, destroying a smattering of homes, forcing thousands to flee and temporarily trapping children and counselors at a California campground. Southern California crews hope slightly cooler temperatures and diminishing winds will help in the battle Sunday. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP) © Mike Eliason, AP This Saturday, July 8, 2017, photo released by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department shows a Santa Barbara City Fire vehicle on Highway 154 in the Whittier fire east of Cachuma Lake in Santa Barbara County, Calif. Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western U.S. and Canada, destroying a smattering of homes, forcing thousands to flee and temporarily trapping children and counselors at a California campground. Southern California crews hope slightly cooler temperatures and diminishing winds will help in the battle Sunday. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

As of 8 p.m. Friday, the fire near Cachuma Lake covered a little more than 13,000 acres and was 52% contained, according to Cal Fire. The agency said 1,612 personnel were on scene as well as 103 fire engines, 22 water tenders, six airplanes, 14 helicopters and 18 bulldozers. Also on the scene were three masticators — machines that crush and grind vegetation left dead and flammable after a years-long drought.

Read more:

Los Padres National Forest in the area of the fire was closed to the public effective Saturday. The order will expire when the fire is fully contained and controlled.

On Friday, crews continued to increase containment by building direct lines and reinforcing bulldozer lines on the east and west edges of the fire, authorities said.

Drier and warmer weather Saturday may not help firefighters, and winds predicted for the evening may push the fire toward populated areas, officials said. 

Alamo Fire

The Alamo Fire in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties was 92% contained Friday night. Cal Fire said the blaze covered nearly 29,000 acres and had destroyed one home and damaged another building since it began July 6. 

The agency said there was minimal fire activity Friday and that the only isolated areas with burned or decayed trees continued to smolder. Crews continued to patrol the fire line, mopped up areas and removed hose lines, authorities said.

People without homes or businesses in the area were urged to stay away. 

Elsewhere

Bridge Fire: The wildfire in San Bernardino County near Highland grew quickly to 450 acres Friday. According to authorities, the fire, which is in the San Bernardino National Forest, was being battled by 550 firefighters and was 20% contained late Friday.

Farad Fire: The blaze, which broke out Monday 12 miles northeast of Truckee, covered 747 acres and was 81% contained Friday.

Wall Fire: The fire in Butte County was 96% contained Friday. It broke out July and burned 6,033 acres southeast of Oroville.

Winters Fire: The blaze in Yolo County is 100% contained at 2,269 acres.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From USA TODAY

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon