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Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 8:23 pm | Fog/Mist 58º


Fire Crews Continue to Make Progress on Alamo Fire; Containment Reaches 90 Percent

Crews continue to make progress surrounding the Alamo Fire burning east of Santa Maria as containment hit 90 percent Friday morning. 

The vegetation fire started at 3:44 p.m. July 6 off Highway 166 near Twitchell Reservoir. 

Flames have consumed 28,687 acres, destroyed one structure and damaged another, Cal Fire officials said Thursday. 

Fire activity on Thursday remained minimal, and full containment was expected by July 22.

“Crews continued to reinforce line construction and patrolled areas to mop-up sections of heavy dead fuels,” officials said. “Fire suppression repair is underway, and crews are beginning to haul out hose and trash. Fire crews continue working in very steep terrain with very dry brush and chaparral.”

Work on Friday will focus on strengthening containment lines and dealing with burnt or decayed trees which were still smoldering and remain a danger.

While mandatory evacuations were lifted Wednesday, an evacuation warning remained in place for Tepusquet Canyon. 

Residents were reminded to drive slowly and use caution as emergency crews and equipment remain in the area. 

The number of firefighters, once topping 2,200, has shrunk to 1,839 as the containment number has grown.

Highway 166, which closed for several days, reopened Wednesday. Tepusquet Road was open only for residents, officials said.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services representatives urged residents to use caution.

“For those returning to any evacuation area, we strongly recommend keeping livestock out until the fire threat has been resolved and evacuation warnings have been lifted,” Animal Services representatives said on social media. “If you do return home, please check your fences thoroughly. 

“There have been several reports of loose cattle in the Alamo Fire area, which can cause a hazard for crews still working in the area. We want everyone to stay safe, two and four legged.”

A forecast calling for hotter weather with lower humidity this weekend prompted Cal Fire officials to remind residents about the continuing wildfire danger in the state.

Although the fire sparked on San Luis Obispo County property, flames eventually moved into Santa Barbara County.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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