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40% Containment For Santa Barbara County's Cave Brush Fire; Snow Covers Part Of Burn Area

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)
A rare round of snow below the 3500 foot level on Santa Barbara County's front country has blanketed part of the Cave Fire burn area

Containment of Santa Barbara County's Cave brush fire has grown to 40% on Thanksgiving Day, as parts of the burn zone were blanketed by snow.

The snowfall occurred down to unusually low levels for Santa Barbara's front country.  The official number of acres burned by the blaze has actually dropped from more than 4300 to just over 3100, due to more detailed mapping.

The fire started on East Camino Cielo Monday afternoon, and was quickly whipped out of control by gust, erratic wind.  At its peak, more than 2,000 homes were threatened.  Some 5000 people were under mandatory evacuations.

An army of firefighters successfully battled the flames, and no homes were lost.  Rain helped with containment efforts.  The last of the evacuees were allowed to return home Wednesday.

About 300 firefighters are still involved in mopup efforts.  

Highway 154 over San Marcos Pass remains closed to the general public, but residents with ID are being allowed to use it.

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.