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Gap Fire Containment Reaches 90%

After a 13-day battle, firefighters Sunday were closing in on full containment of the Gap Fire burning in rugged terrain north and west of Goleta.

Officials said Sunday evening that the 9,443-acre blaze is now 90 percent contained, with about a half-mile of perimeter still in need of a fire line. Despite the advances, a mandatory evacuation order remains for West Camino Cielo west of Windermere Ranch to the actual fire area. Crews are continuing to monitor and hold the direct attack line in that area.

As of Sunday, evacuation warnings have been canceled for the Goleta Valley west to El Capitan Canyon. Warnings are still in effect up the mountain for the Haney Tract, Hidden Valley, Kinevan Road, Trout Club, West Camino Cielo and Windermere Ranch.

Fire suppression costs stand at $19.7 million, officials said, and more than 600 firefighters remain on the lines. No homes have been destroyed although four other structures have burned. In all, a dozen people have been injured.

The Gap Fire started July 1 near the Lizard’s Mouth hiking area on West Camino Cielo, about a half-mile east of the Winchester Canyon Gun Club. Officials have said the fire was caused by humans but have refused to say whether it was accidentally or intentionally set. The blaze remains under investigation and a 24-hour tip line — 805.961.5710 — has been established to receive information on the origin.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at [email protected]

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