Rain gave firefighters a big boost Wednesday morning in their efforts to contain the 4300 acre Cave brush fire in Santa Barbara County. San Marcos Pass received 1.1" of rain in the predawn areas, and by sunrise there was no large scale smoke visible from the 4300 acre blaze.
There had been concern about the possibility the rain could create debris flows from the brand new burn area, but no major issues were reported. More showers are possible, but this was believed to be the strongest part of the storm for the county. Highway 154 remains closed, though. Some emergency guard rail work still has to be done to repair fire related damage.
Some firefighters will remain on the scene, because while the rain helped, there are still smoldering hot spots. The fire official remains at 10% contained Wednesday morning, the same figure it was at Tuesday night, but that number is expected to increase as the burn area is assessed.
The Cave Fire started just after 4 Monday afternoon in the East Camino Cielo area. Strong wind quickly spread the flames, forcing the evacuation of about 5,000 people. But, Tuesday afternoon evacuation orders were lifted for 4,000 people.
No one was hurt, and no homes were lost. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.