A fire that broke out north of Santa Barbara on June 15 is at 54 percent containment Monday morning, while a heat wave bringing triple digit temperatures and gusty winds has the county on a red flag warning.
The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District has re-issued an air quality warning for southern Santa Barbara County.
Ash is falling over the area and can be blown into the air by winds or leaf blowers, according to the district. Residents have been urged to avoid using blowers or doing any other activity that might stir ash into the air.
The district also warned anyone seeing or smelling smoke to be cautious and avoid exercising or spending time outdoors.
With the hot weather, it’s also important to be smart when cooling your house by keeping windows and doors closed and instead running the air conditioner with the fresh air intake closed, the district said.
A red flag warning was issued by the National Weather Service for Santa Barbara County that remains through 10 a.m. Tuesday. The warning says temperatures are expected to be between 90 degrees and 102 degrees. Paired with gusty sundowner winds reaching 45 mph and low levels of humidity, the head will create favorable conditions for extreme fire behavior and rapid fire spread.
Highway 101, which has been closed due to the fire periodically over the past few days, is currently open. Mandatory evacuations are still in effect for the following areas:
- Areas east of the Refugio burn site
- Refugio State Beach
- Refugio Canyon
- Venadito Canyon
- Canada del Venadito Canyon
- Las Flores Canyon
- El Capitan Canyon
- El Capitan Ranch
- El Capitan State Beach
- Canada de la Destiladera
Until evacuations are lifted, Wake Center is open as a shelter for people displaced by the wildfire. Small pets are allowed. Evacuees with large animals can call Santa Barbara County Animal Services at 805–681–4332 for help.
Evacuation warnings are in place for the following areas:
- Call Lippizana east to Farren Road
- Las Llagas Canyon
- Gato Canyon
- Las Varas Canyon
- Dos Pueblos Canyon
- Eagle Canyon
This story has been updated.