Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 3:29 pm | Overcast 66º


Local News

La Brea Fire: Crews Complete Perimeter Containment Line

Crews are expected to face extreme weather conditions through Wednesday, and officials expand the closure area of forest lands

Firefighters continued to make headway on the 12-day-old La Brea Fire on Wednesday, with containment complete on all fire lines outside the San Rafael Wilderness.

But challenges continue, with hot and dry weather, hence extreme burning conditions, expected Wednesday. The blaze may continue to put up plumes of smoke because of islands of brush in the interior of the fire igniting and making uphill runs. Officials said the flareups are not a threat to the established containment line.

Also on Wednesday, the Forest Service expanded the emergency closure area of forest lands on the southeast side of the La Brea Fire. The closure prohibits public entry to all national forest lands, trails, roads and recreation sites within the area. It applies only to national forest lands and doesn’t affect private lands within the national forest boundary.

The remote blaze has burned 89,015 acres with containment holding steady at 75 percent. The number of personnel on scene was 1,505.

An evacuation warning remains in effect for the area bound by Sierra Madre Road on the west, Cottonwood Road on the south, Highway 166 on the east and Spoor Canyon on the north. All other evacuation orders and warnings are rescinded, including Pine Canyon, Tepusquet Canyon, and the area bound by Cottonwood and Wasioja roads between Highway 166 and Sierra Madre Road.

On Saturday, authorities announced that they had traced the cause of the fire to a cooking fire in the campsite of an illegal marijuana-growing operation. No arrests have been made, but it was believed that the suspects were still within the San Rafael Wilderness, trying to leave the area on foot. Officials have issued a warning not to approach anyone who looks suspicious but to instead contact authorities.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to call the La Brea Fire tip line at 805.686.5074. Callers may remain anonymous.
Click here for the latest fire information, or call 805.961.5770 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Noozhawk staff writer Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Article Image
(Los Padres National Forest map)

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