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Cave Brush Fire In Santa Barbara County Tops 4000 Acres Burned; No Homes Reported Lost

A brush fire that forced thousands of evacuations in Santa Barbara County has now burned more than 4200 acres of land, and is 0% contained.  

The Cave Fire started Tuesday afternoon near West Camino Cielo off of Highway 154 on San Marcos Pass.

Wind quickly pushed the fire through rugged mountain terrain to the south, and west, threatening thousands of homes.  Firefighters used night flying helicopters to drop water on the blaze, which was often burning through inaccessible terrain which hadn't burned in decades.

More than 5000 people in the foothills above Santa Barbara and Goleta faced mandatory evacuations.  But at noon Tuesday, an estimated 4000 were allowed to return home.  The evacuation order for the area north of Cathedral Oaks between Fairview and Patterson in Goleta was cancelled.

Highway 154 remains closed, which could add to the region's travel woes, since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year.  

No serious injuries have been reported, and no homes have been reported destroyed.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.