Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 8:16 pm | Fair 51º

 
 
 
 

Local News

No Growth Reported for Stubborn Rey Fire as Containment Reaches 54%

Cooler weather and higher humidity aid crews battling 33,006-acre blaze in Santa Barbara County backcountry

Firefighters attach a sling load of supplies to a helicopter to take to a remote spike camp in the northeast area of the Rey Fire burning in the remote backcountry northeast of Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Firefighters attach a sling load of supplies to a helicopter to take to a remote spike camp in the northeast area of the Rey Fire burning in the remote backcountry northeast of Santa Barbara. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

Firefighters on Saturday moved past the halfway mark to containment of the Rey Fire burning in the Santa Barbara County backcountry.

The fire did not grow in size Saturday or overnight into Sunday, remaining at an estimated 33,006 acres charred.

As of 8 p.m., it had increased to 54-percent containment, according to fire officials.

“The fire showed no growth today,” officials said in a news release. “Fire crews continued to build direct hand lines along the northeast corner of the fire, from Mono Creek through Pie Canyon and the Indian Creek drainage.

“Air support from helicopters assisted the ground crews’ efforts in securing the fire line.”

Crews were assisted in battling the blaze by cooler temperatures and higher humidity.

The wildfire broke out Aug. 18 near the White Rock Picnic Area, and apparently was sparked when a large part of an oak tree fell, pulling down a power line along Paradise Road about five miles east of Lake Cachuma. Officially, the cause of the blaze remained under investigation.

Sunday morning map of Rey Fire. Click to view larger
Sunday morning map of Rey Fire. (U.S. Forest Service map)

After reaching a peak of more than 2,000 firefighters, the number of personnel assigned to the blaze had dropped to about 1,400 on Saturday.

Warmer and drier weather is expected the next few days, which coupled with low fuel moisture should allow vegetation within the fire area to continue burning.

Minimal growth is expected in the overall size of the fire, however.

Officials have targeted Wednesday for full containment of the blaze.

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.

Used fire hose sits in a pile waiting for collection on Rancho San Fernando Rey on Saturday as firefighters continue to work on dousing the Rey Fire, which was 54-percent contained on Saturday. Click to view larger
Used fire hose sits in a pile waiting for collection on Rancho San Fernando Rey on Saturday as firefighters continue to work on dousing the Rey Fire, which was 54-percent contained on Saturday. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
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