A brush fire burning out of control in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County, north of Santa Barbara is now topping 700 acres burned, and forced some evacuations.
The fire is on the Santa Ynez Valley side of San Marcos Pass, but has been clearly visible in Southern Santa Barbara County, putting up a huge plume of smoke.
It prompted the full closure of Highway 154 from Santa Barbara, to the Santa Ynez Valley.
The U.S. Forest Service’s Andrew Madsen says the fire was discovered just after 2:30, in the White Rock Day Use Area.
Four air tankers are being used to fight the fire, and other local fire agencies are helping the Forest Service with firefighting efforts. Some units deployed to protect structures in the area.
Madsen says the fire has been burning east, away from homes on San Marcos Pass.
Some scattered homes in the remote Upper Oso area have ordered evacuated. There are no reports of injuries, but Madsen says a parked Forest Service vehicle was destroyed by the blaze.
There’s no word yet on the fire’s cause.