SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA) – Hundreds of firefighters were making significant progress in their battle against a large wildfire which has been burning west of Santa Barbara all week.
The Alisal Fire, which has scorched 16,901 acres, was 41% contained Friday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service, up from just 5% containment Thursday.
The fire has destroyed three homes and two outbuildings, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesperson Mike Eliason. At the height of the fire, 439 structures were threatened.
Highway 101, which has been closed all week between Highway 1 at Las Cruces, to Winchester Canyon Road in Goleta, had fully reopened Friday Eliason said. Amtrak and Pacific Railroad lines have also reopened in the area.
Evacuation orders remain in effect for Arroyo Hondo Canyon, Refugio Canyon, and the area between El Capitan Beach State Park and West Camino Cielo. Evacuation warnings are in effect for the area east of El Capitan Beach State Park, west of Dos Pueblos Canyon Road, and south of West Camino Cielo.
The Alisal Fire 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, with thick smoke visible throughout the county. There was no word of a cause.
Crews, however, might face challenging weather conditions Friday and Saturday with red flag conditions in effect for several parts of Southern California. Gusty Santa Ana winds of up to 45 miles per hour, coupled with temperatures in the 80s and 90s, could make for ripe wildfire conditions.