SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA) – Hundreds of firefighters are battling a brush fire which sparked west of Santa Barbara, forced evacuations and has shut down a portion of Highway 101.
The blaze broke out before 2:30 p.m. Monday amid powerful winds near Alisal Lake in the Santa Ynez Mountains. It was burning in dense chaparral, brush and grass.
The fire had exploded to 6,000 acres as of Tuesday morning, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesperson Mike Eliason. By Tuesday evening the fire had grown to 13,400 acres and was 5 percent contained.
Highway 101 is closed from Highway 1 at Las Cruces, to Winchester Canyon Road in Goleta. The fire jumped from the east side to the west side of the freeway, Eliason reported early Tuesday morning, and flames were burning along the Gaviota Coast.
Evacuation orders are in place for Arroyo Hondo Canyon and Refugio Canyon, west of Goleta, according to the U.S. Forest Service, along with El Capitan State Park and the El Capitan Campground. Between 100 and 120 structures were threatened, including ranch homes.
A temporary evacuation center was set up at the parking lot of Dos Pueblos High School located at 7266 Alameda Avenue in Goleta.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services was assisting with animal evacuations. Livestock could be taken to the Earl Warren Showgrounds and animal owners could call 805-681-4332 if assistance is needed to evacuate animals.
There was no word of a cause.