Friday, August 17 , 2018, 2:48 pm | Fair 77º


Local News

La Brea Fire: Completion Near on Containment Lines

The air-quality watch and all evacuation warnings and orders have been lifted as the remote blaze is now 94 percent contained

With the help of air tankers and helicopters, crews battled through extreme weather conditions and by Thursday morning were nearing completion of fire lines around the La Brea Fire.

Hot temperatures on Wednesday fueled the intensity of the remote blaze in the San Rafael Wilderness, but air crews kept the fire’s spread in check. As mop-up of hot spots continues, crews report finding fewer of them. Interior smoke and flareups also continue inside the burn area, but officials say they don’t post a serious threat to containment lines.

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, all evacuation warnings and orders for the La Brea Fire have been lifted.

Officials on Thursday said the blaze had burned 89,368 acres and was 94 percent contained, with 1,520 personnel fighting the fire.

Amid more favorable conditions, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District on Thursday canceled the air-quality watch for the county.

Suppression line rehabilitation continues on the colder portions of the fire, generally in the west, north and south flanks. Dozers are building water bars, which are small depressions perpendicular to the slopes that will slow water and reduce erosion when the rains return. They also level berms, and do other work as necessary to lessen impacts on the now barren soil when rainfall begins.

Last weekend, 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 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).

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