Containment on the Alisal Fire grew to 41% by Friday morning, which is partly thanks to cooperative winds, according to incident command.
The blaze grew just 100 acres overnight to 16,901 acres, and the firefighting response has swelled to 1,731 people.
“Of the 439 structures that have been threatened, three residences and two other outbuildings (were) destroyed,” said Mike Eliason, a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, after the Friday morning briefing.
Flames have also damaged the Tajiguas Landfill and park properties along the Gaviota Coast.
The blaze started on Los Padres National Forest land Monday afternoon, and the multi-agency response is now led by a Type 1 federal incident management team.
Water-dropping helicopters and retardant-dropping air tankers were making constant runs at the fire on Wednesday and Thursday, which was after two days of heavy winds hampering the use of air support.
“Firefighters began to mop-up around much of the fire, including Camino Cielo, Refugio Canyon and along Highway 101,” U.S. Forest Service officials said in an incident update Friday morning.
“Firefighters mop-up after the fire has been controlled by extinguishing or removing burning material near the control line. Crews secured the perimeter along Reagan Ranch and Refugio Canyon. Hot shot crews also began to cold trail areas along the old Sherpa Fire burn scars, which is a method of controlling a partly dead fire edge by carefully inspecting with the hand for heat to detect any fire.
“And along Highway 101, crews removed hazard trees, while helicopters engaged the fire’s edge. The public is reminded to drive cautiously on Highway 101 as crews continue to monitor the area. Last night, firefighters responded to isolated fire activity on the western most portion of the fire.”
On Friday, crews planned to concentrate on the eastern edge of the fire, along the 2016 Sherpa Fire burn area, and western edge of the fire, near Cañada San Onofre.
Winds are the primary force behind fire growth, and strong down-sloping winds will affect fire behavior over the next few days, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.
Incident maps show the fire burn area and containment lines.
As of Friday morning, evacuation orders and evacuation warnings remained in effect for communities along the Gaviota Coast, as shown in the county’s map below.
An interactive version of the evacuation map, and more fire-related information, is available on the county incident website at https://readysbc.org/alisal-fire/.
Click here to view a Noozhawk photo gallery of the Alisal Fire.
Watch the Friday morning operational update:
— Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.