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Brush Fire In Santa Barbara County Mushrooms To 4,000 Acres, But Is Now 5% Contained

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)
Dramatic flareup of Sherpa Fire near El Capitan State Beach closes Highway 101 for eight hours

Some big flareups pushed Santa Barbara County's Sherpa brush fire to 4,000 acres overnight Thursday into Friday.

Strong wind starting around sunset Thursday pushed some of the flames south from the mountains towards the coast again, closing Highway 101 again between Goleta and Buellton overnight. The closure happened during the 8 p.m. hour, with some vehicles getting stuck on the freeway, and being forced to turn around because of the fire's surge at El Capitan State Beach. Traffic was routed over 154 during the overnight hours until the 101 fully reopened at 4 a.m. Friday.

There is some good news.  Firefighters were again able to protect structures overnight.  The wind appears to have died down Friday morning, and there is 5% containment.

Firefighters have focused on trying to protect homes, and ranches in the area as the blaze has grown, and have been successful so far.  KCLU's Lance Orozco reports on that part of the story (audio link above)

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. 
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