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Alisal Fire now 41% contained, Highway 101 reopened

By   /   Friday, October 15th, 2021  /   Comments Off on Alisal Fire now 41% contained, Highway 101 reopened

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A DC-10 drops fire retardant near the Gaviota Coast on Oct. 14. (photo courtesy Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters got the upper hand Thursday on the Alisal Fire in Santa Barbara County, and on Friday morning Highway 101 was fully open between Goleta and Buellton after a three-day closure.

The fire started Monday afternoon in Refugio Canyon, a few miles north of Refugio State Beach. By Friday morning, it was 41% contained, according to an update issued around 8:30 a.m. by the U.S. Forest Service, up from 5% the day before.

The fire has burned 16,901 acres in the hills and coastal areas northwest of Goleta, and was being fought by 1,731 people. Three residences and two out-buildings had been destroyed, out of 439 threatened structures.

The Red Cross is running an evacuation shelter at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, and evacuation orders from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department  remained in effect for Arroyo Hondo Canyon, Refugio Canyon, and the area between El Capitan Beach State Park and West Camino Cielo. Evacuation warnings are still in effect for the area east of El Capitan Beach State Park, west of Dos Pueblos Canyon Rd, and south of West Camino Cielo. 

Fire officials were expecting warm weather, low humidity and winds up to 20 miles per hour on Friday, all of which “have the potential to increase fire activity,” the Forest Service said.

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