Fast-Moving SoCal Wildfire Forces Thousands to Evacuate
A surging wildfire forced several thousand people, most of them Memorial Day campers, to evacuate the mountains of California’s Santa Barbara County, officials said.
The fire broke out about 2:45 p.m. Monday in Los Padres National Forest about 15 miles north of Santa Barbara, and hours later had grown to 1,000 acres — or 1.5 square miles — amid winds of about 20 mph, U.S. Forest Service officials said. It was 5 percent contained.
Paradise Road and the many campgrounds along it were closed, forcing between 4,000 and 6,000 campers, many already clearing out at the end of the holiday weekend, to evacuate, officials said.
The fire was threatening about 50 homes, many of them cabins and vacation rentals, and 50 to 75 residents had evacuated, county fire Capt. David Sadecki said.