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Santa Barbara County's Alisal Fire grows to 2,000 acres, with Highway 101 still closed by blaze

U.S. Forest Service photo
The Alisal Fire burning in Santa Barbara County Monday

About 100 structures threatened

Santa Barbara County's Alisal wildfire continue to grow Monday night, with U.S. Forest Service officials saying that as of 9 p.m. it had charred about 2,000 acres of land.

The fire started at around 2 p.m. near Refugio Peak. Strong wind quickly spread the flames. At around 5, wind hitting 70 miles an hour pushed the blaze down the mountainside all the way to the coast, forcing the closure of Highway 101.

The highway is closed from the western outskirts of Goleta to Highway 1.

Evacuation orders were issued for Arroyo Hondo Canyon and Refugio Canyon west of Goleta. The region in sparsely populated, but about 100 structures are threatened.

The high wind made it impossible for firefighters to use air tankers and helicopters to fight the fire. The wind is expected to ease on Tuesday.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.