Wildfire grows to 13,400 acres in Santa Barbara County, puts 100 structures at risk

Alisal blaze sparked near reservoir in hills, forced closure of Highway 101

Los Angeles /
Oct.October 13, 2021 12:00 PM
Around 7,900 wildfires have burned nearly 2.5 million acres across California this year. (iStock)

A wildfire has burned 13,400 acres in Santa Barbara County and forced the closure of a stretch of Highway 101.

The Alisal Fire was sparked on Monday afternoon in the hills near the Alisal Reservoir. It was 5 percent contained as of Wednesday morning, and now threatens around 100 structures, according to NBC News.

Highway 101 was closed on Monday. Strong winds helped the fire jump across the four-lane highway and spread to Tajiguas Beach on Tuesday night.

More than 765 firefighters are fighting the blaze, an effort led by the U.S. Forest Service. Strong winds have complicated the job.

“The main constraint has been heavy winds that have limited safe access to suppress the fire and limited the use of aircraft to engage and support fire suppression,” a Los Padres National Forest incident report read.

The ranch of late President Ronald Reagan is among the structures that firefighters have sought to protect. “Several U.S. Forest Services engines were arriving” at the ranch on Tuesday afternoon, SF Gate reported.

Around 7,900 wildfires have burned nearly 2.5 million acres across California this year. More than 3,600 structures have been destroyed.

The Dixie Fire and the Caldor Fire, the two largest of the year, are 95 percent and 98 percent contained, respectively. Those fires alone burned about 1.2 million acres. The Dixie Fire is among the state’s largest in recorded history.

A moratorium on canellations of fire policies in California recently expired, allowing insurance companies to drop coverage on property in wildfire-prone areas of the state. Around 2.4 million households statewide and 350,000 around Los Angeles alone could lose coverage this year.

[SFGate] [NBC News] — Dennis Lynch





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