Nov. 27: 7:54 a.m. EST | Warning Alert
Emergency crews responding to a wildfire west of Santa Barbara, Calif., US, Nov. 27. Evacuation orders and road closures in place.
This alert began 27 Nov 2019 12:52 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 Nov 2019 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Cave wildfire
- Location: Santa Barbara, California
- Start Date: Nov. 25
- Impact: Evacuations and ground transport disruptions; possible power outages
Emergency crews are continuing to work to contain an estimated 1,767-hectare (4,367 acre) wildfire and 10-percent perimeter containment that is burning near Highway 154, northwest of Santa Barbara, California, as of late Nov. 26. The fire is said to have started after 1600 Nov. 25, near East Camino Cielo and Painted Cave Road in Los Padres National Forest, during the late afternoon; it has since burned south to the top of Cieneguitas Road. Authorities have not provided an estimated containment date for the fire; forecast rainfall may aid firefighting efforts over the coming days, decreasing the likelihood of additional wildfire growth. Forecast rainfall could increase the likelihood of debris flows and mudslides in the affected area.
As of late Nov. 26, mandatory evacuation orders are in place for the area between Ontare Road and Patterson Avenue, north of Cathedral Oaks. Debris flow evacuation warnings are in place west of Highway 225 to Patterson Avenue, south of Cathedral Oaks Road. Authorities could expand the mandatory evacuation orders depending on evolving wildfire conditions. An emergency shelter for displaced residents is located at Goleta Valley Community Center.
Transport and Utilities
The wildfire has caused some additional localized transport disruptions throughout Santa Barbara County. Highway 154 has been closed at SR 246 and SR 192. Authorities have advised commuters to use US 101 as an alternate route. Additional road closures include Gibraltar Road, La Vista Road, Debra Drive, Via Chaparral, and San Marcos Road. The status of nearby roads may change over the coming hours and days; authorities could continue to close routes around Santa Barbara due to fire activity and the needs of response operations. Traffic flows could also be disrupted during reentry periods after authorities lift evacuation orders. Low visibility from smoke and possible ashfall could contribute to traffic delays and congestion in the region. Power outages are also possible.
Heed all evacuation orders. Seek updated information on road conditions if driving in the affected area; road closures and detours will cause increased congestion and delays. Individuals not under evacuation warnings should consider remaining inside well-ventilated, air-conditioned spaces to reduce exposure to smoke. Collect essential items - including identification and any important legal and travel documents - in a "go-bag" that can be easily accessed. Charge battery-powered devices in case of prolonged power outages.