A wildfire has burned more than 50 square miles of land near Santa Barbara.
KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports that the La Brea fire has closed part of a national forest and forced people to evacuate their homes.
Thousands of firefighters, including crews from Orange County, are working in the San Rafael Wilderness. Brushy canyon in that area has been burning for almost a week. Los Padres National Forest managers have closed more than 100 square miles of nearby lands, and fire officials on Tuesday asked residents of two dozen ranches and homes to leave. Now they’re asking people in 150 homes along the western edge of Los Padres, toward Santa Maria, to do the same.
Fire crews are working to control the northern edges of the fire, near the homes. The northeast area of the fire hasn’t burned in 87 years. New Cuyama High School is a temporary emergency shelter for people. Ranchers who own horses and cattle are moving large animals too – some of them to Santa Maria Fair Park.