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Local News

Jesusita Fire: More Areas Reopen Sunday Afternoon

Three neighborhoods closest to the most active flames remain closed but residents of other areas will be allowed to return home

With another day of heavy marine layer assisting firefighters in the battle against the Jesusita Fire, the Unified Command Team on Sunday further reduced the mandatory evacuation area to areas nearest the most active edges of the 6-day-old wildfire.

Sunday afternoon, under police escort, residents of neighborhoods both east and west of Highway 154 were allowed to return home.

Residents of West Camino Cielo, including the Kinevan Road area and any with homes having addresses along Highway 154, will be allowed back if they show proper identification (driver license, utility bill). Continuing about every 30 minutes from 3 p.m., the California Highway Patrol planned to escort area residents to these areas:

» From Cathedral Oaks Road/Foothill Road at Highway 154, and from Paradise Road and Highway 154.

Residents arriving in the area will be asked to show proof of residency in the affected area, and then directed to a staging area, according to authorities.

The neighborhoods still under mandatory evacuation orders Sunday afternoon are:

» Tunnel Road north of Montrose Place, Palamino Road north of Williams Way, San Roque Road north of the Cater Water Treatment Plant, 1150 San Roque Road.

» Gibraltar Road north of El Cielto Road.

» The area bordered by Highway 154 north on Painted Cave Road to East Camino Cielo, East Camino Cielo to Highway 154, and Highway 154 to Painted Cave.

All other areas have been downgraded to evacuation warning areas and residents may return to their homes. Officials emphasized that the fire remains active and residents should remain alert to changing conditions. The water supply is safe to drink in all evacuation warning areas, officials said.

At 6 p.m. Sunday, Highway 154 was reopened to traffic.

The marine layer and cooler temperatures are expected through Monday, but the National Weather Service forecasts a return of sundowner winds and temperatures near 90 on Monday afternoon.

As of Sunday morning, the 8,733-acre fire was said to be 55 percent contained, with full containment expected by Wednesday. Officials said a full accounting was still being compiled, but estimated that 31 homes were destroyed and 47 homes and two outbuildings were damaged. Click here for photojournalist Isaac Hernandez’s pictorial chronicle of the Jesusita Fire, including an unofficial, house by house, catalog of many streets in the burn area.

Authorities have not determined the cause of the Jesusita Fire, which ignited just before 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Cathedral Peak area of upper San Roque Canyon, an area also known as Inspiration Point. Investigators are requesting the public’s help with information about activities on or near the Jesusita or Tunnel hiking trails in the San Roque and Tunnel roads areas Monday and Tuesday. Information can be reported by calling 805.686.5074 or by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

There are 4,543 personnel deployed against the blaze, which has cost an estimated $7.4 million to fight. In addition, five air tankers and 15 helicopters are attacking the fire.

Click here for additional information from the InciWeb Incident Information System.

Click here to sign up for Noozhawk’s free daily e-Bulletin.

Click here for running citizen reports from City2.0 or click here for additional information from sbparent.com.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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