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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 2:36 pm | A Few Clouds 61º


Santa Barbara Firefighters Help Battle SLO County Blaze

Engines and trucks sent north to fight the Calf Fire, which had charred some 600 acres east of Santa Margarita by Monday night

Several engines and trucks from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department have joined an army of firefighter battling a large wildfire burning in rugged terrain in northern San Luis Obispo County.

The local crews were among more than 900 firefighters assigned to the Calf Fire east of Santa Margarita.

As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, the fire had burned more than 640 acres, and was 30 percent contained, according to Cal Fire’s website. Full contained was expected by Wednesday.

“The fire is located in very rough terrain making access difficult for firefighters,” Cal Fire reported.

The blaze broke out in early afternoon, and closed Highway 58 for seven miles between Pozo Road and Huero Huero Creek Bridge. The cause remained under investigation.

Bill Morem of the Tribune newspaper in San Luis Obispo County reported that residents of Park Hill Road east of Santa Margarita appeared to have dodged a potential firestorm late Monday afternoon, although mandatory evacuations were ordered along Park Hill Road as flames roared along the ridges of the hilly terrain.

The small ranches along the road looked mostly deserted in the late afternoon, Morem reported, with horses and other livestock having been trailered out earlier in the day. But some property owners stayed, anxiously watching the skies as tankers, spotter planes and helicopters dove through the smoke to hit hotspots among numerous ridges.

Dozens of engines and crews, including fire personnel from Santa Barbara County, took defensive stands around homes located in shallow canyons in the area.

Firefighters eventually seemed to gain the upper hand, with the aid of cool weather, precision retardant strikes and a small army of personnel on the ground, the Tribune reported.

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Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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