Update: Alisal Fire nears full containment
Update posted Oct. 19:
Fire is 93-percent contained as of Tuesday morning
– The Alisal Fire burning in Northern Santa Barbara County is now 93-percent contained, according to the Incident Information System.
Projected incident activity:
Over the next 12 hours: Some growth potential exists with forecasted northerly winds and gusts (gusts 25-35 MPH) over the fire area overnight, in areas of recent heat along W. Camino Cielo Road. Little effect elsewhere over the fire as humidity recovery will be very good.
Over the next 24 hours: Minimal fire activity expected, some potential for moderate activity in isolated pockets where hold-over heat exists. Any areas where pockets of unburned fuels, uncontained fireline and fire activity exists there is potential for increase in activity as fuel moistures decrease and dry out.
Over the next 48 hours: Minimal fire activity expected, some potential for moderate activity in isolated pockets where hold-over heat exists. Any areas where pockets of unburned fuels, uncontained fireline and fire activity exists there is potential for increase in activity as fuel moistures decrease and dry out.
Residents who evacuated due to the Alisal Fire west of Santa Barbara have been allowed to return home, according to NBC Los Angeles. All evacuation orders and warnings were canceled Sunday afternoon.
Update posted Oct. 15:
Fire is now 41-percent contained
– The Alisal Fire burning in Northern Santa Barbara County has reached 41-percent containment and has grown to 16,901 acres as of Friday morning. Highway 101 has been re-opened in both directions. The railway parallel to Highway 101 has also reopened for travel in both directions and all services are expected to back to normal.
Officials predict that some growth potential exists due to forecasted northwest to north winds over the fire area, in the evening to push the fire east of Refugio Canyon. Also, westward spread will continue midslope just upslope from Gaviota (dry fuels, fuel continuity and downslope winds).
The cause of the fire remains unknown at this time.
Update posted Oct. 14:
Fire remains at just 5-percent containment
– The Alisal Fire burning in Northern Santa Barbara County near Highway 101 has grown to 15,442 acres as of Wednesday night and remains at just 5-percent containment.
The fire is burning 20 miles northwest of Santa Barbara within Refugio Canyon in dense chaparral and grass. The fire started on Oct. 11 at 2:10 pm near the Alisal Reservoir. Strong northwest winds pushed the fire south over the summit towards the Tajiguas Landfill and crossed Hwy 101 to Tajiguas Beach.
Winds finally dropped below 20-mph gusts at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, allowing six helicopters, six air tankers, and the very large DC-10 to be called out to the Alisal Fire, according to a story by the Santa Barbara Independent. A number of aircraft have been flying in from Paso Robles Airport. Water and retardant drops from the air are the only ways to reach the deep ravines and rocky canyons of the Gaviota Coast, which features very few roads.
Light and mostly onshore winds are expected on Thursday. Smoke is visible throughout southern Santa Barbara County including the Santa Ynez Valley and along the Gaviota coastline.
Highway 101 is closed between Highway 1 and Winchester Canyon Road/Cathedral Oaks in both directions. Highway 154 remains open. The railway parallel to Highway 101 is also closed and impacting Amtrak train travel in both directions.
Original story posted Oct. 13
Fire is 5-percent contained as of late Tuesday night
– The Alisal Fire in Santa Barbara County has grown to about 13,400 acres as of late Tuesday evening after sparking near the Alisal Reservoir on Monday around 2:30 p.m., according to multiple reports. It remains just 5-percent contained and 50 mph gusts were expected in the region overnight, according to the National Weather Service.
The fire has prompted evacuations in Santa Barbara County and the closure of Highway 101, which caused congestion on the nearby State Road 154 and Interstate 5, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The cause of the fire is not yet known.