The Latest: Officials urge Santa Barbara residents to flee

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2017 8:33 PM
The Latest: Officials urge Santa Barbara residents to flee

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

Fire officials say the most destructive of the Southern California wildfires has burned more than 270 square miles and is only 15 percent contained.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown says the containment number will likely go down not because of a lack of progress, but because of the fire's expected growth.

Ventura County fire behavioral analyst Brendan Ripley says he believes the fire is the fifth largest in California's history.

More than 30,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders.

Authorities warned residents at a community meeting Sunday in Santa Barbara not to ignore evacuation orders.


12:30 p.m.

Forecasters say gusty, dry Santa Ana winds will continue in Southern California for at least another day in areas where crews are battling wildfires, including one that is threatening a seaside city.

The National Weather Service has extended red flag warnings until Monday night for parts of Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Powerful gusts are expected through late Sunday in mountains of Santa Barbara County, where firefighters are protecting homes from flames moving down hillsides toward coastal neighborhoods.

New evacuations were ordered Sunday for the city of Carpinteria, which has been under threat for days from a huge and destructive wildfire that's still pushing west nearly a week after breaking out.

Crews have made progress on other fronts of that fire and on separate blazes in Los Angeles, San Diego and Riverside counties.



Officials say smoke from wind-whipped wildfires is causing unhealthy air for large swaths of Southern California.

A flare-up Sunday on the western edge of a huge fire burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties sent up a new plume that added to heavy smoke already choking areas around the cities of Ventura, Oxnard and Santa Paula.

The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District says air quality is especially bad in the Ojai Valley, where it has at times reached hazardous levels as flames burned surrounding hillsides.

To the southeast, regulators warned Saturday of unhealthy air across parts of greater Los Angeles despite progress being made against several wildfires burning there.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District urged residents to avoid vigorous outdoor activities.


9:05 a.m.

A major flare-up on the western edge of Southern California's largest and most destructive wildfire has sent residents fleeing as flames churned through canyons and down hillsides toward coastal towns.

New evacuations were ordered Sunday in Carpinteria, a seaside city northwest of Los Angeles.

Santa Barbara County Fire spokesman Mike Eliason says crews saved several homes as unpredictable winds fanned the blaze.

The department posted a photo of one residence engulfed in flames. It's unclear whether other structures burned.

Firefighters made significant progress on other fronts of the enormous fire that started Dec. 4 in Ventura County.

Forecasters say Santa Ana winds that whipped several fires across the region are expected to die down later Sunday.

Containment is way up on blazes in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties.