Firefighters on Tuesday (Nov. 26) continued to battle a wind-driven brush fire that erupted a day earlier near Highway 154 in Santa Barbara County, Calif., and burned quickly downhill, threatening thousands of properties and sending residents fleeing from their homes, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Cave fire started just after 4 p.m. Monday near East Camino Cielo and Painted Cave Road in Los Padres National Forest. It has exploded to 4,100 acres with no containment, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. The blaze, fanned by erratic 50 mph sundowner winds, grew quickly overnight and was advancing toward populated areas in the cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta, as well as unincorporated areas of the county.
About 600 firefighters were on scene early Tuesday battling the fire and defending homes from the advancing flames. Ten fixed-wing tankers and nine helicopters are expected to arrive in the next few hours to aid in the effort, said Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Daniel Bertucelli.
The fire prompted Santa Barbara County officials to declare a local emergency and request that Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaim a state of emergency for the region. The fire is “causing conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within Santa Barbara County,” the county wrote.
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