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Rain Puts Big Damper On Santa Barbara County's Cave Brush Fire; All Evacuation Orders Lifted

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Rain help knock down much of what's left of the Cave brush fire in Santa Barbara County Wednesday

Firefighters who were already getting the upper hand on Santa Barbara County's Cave brush fire got big help from the Thanksgiving Eve storm moving through the Central and South Coasts.

Containment went from 10% to 20%.  Santa Barbara County officials say the situation is good enough that they have cancelled all remaining mandatory evacuation orders for the 4300 acre blaze.

The San Marcos Pass area got more than an inch of rain which moved through the burn area berfor sunrise.  The rain didn't trigger any debris floows, or major slides on Highway 154.  However, with repairs still needed to the highway as a result of the fire, it still remains closed to the general public.  Residents with ID are being allowed to use it.

The huge plume of smoke visible yesterday throughout the Santa Barbara area is completely gone today.  Many firefighters are being released, but some are still on patrol looking for still smoldering hot spots.

No homes were lost to the fire, which began Monday afternoon off of East Camino Cielo Road.  About 5000 people were forced to evacuate due to the fire threat, with about 4000 allowed to return home yesterday.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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