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Santa Barbara County's Lake Fire at 30,000 acres burned: Containment at 16%

A helicopter making a drop on the Lake Fire.
Santa Barbara County Fire Department Fire
A helicopter making a drop on the Lake Fire.

Firefighters using backfires to help stop the spread of the inferno.

Santa Barbara County’s huge Lake Fire has grown to about 30,000 acres, but containment has also reached 16%.

Firefighters continue to deal with sizzling temperatures as they try to stop the fire, which is burning in the Los Padres National Forest to the north, and northeast of the Santa Ynez Valley. They have been using some backfires to try to limit the growth of the blaze.

It started last Friday afternoon off of Figueroa Mountain Road, growing rapidly during the heat wave hitting the region. The area is sparsely populated. An estimated 1500 people have been evacuated, including a number of campers. There are some evacuation orders in effect, but they are for remote areas of the county.

Some 2800 firefighters are battling the fire. They are operating out of base camps at the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo Grounds, and the Santa Maria Speedway.

Four structures have been reported damaged.

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.