Wildfire spreads rapidly in Santa Barbara County

by / ⠀News / July 9, 2024
Wildfire spreads

Firefighters are battling a massive wildfire that has burned over 19,000 acres in the mountains of Santa Barbara County, California. The Lake Fire started on Friday afternoon near Zaca Lake and quickly spread due to dry conditions and strong winds. The fire has prompted evacuations in areas near Neverland Ranch, once owned by Michael Jackson, and several vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Hundreds of firefighters, along with air tankers and helicopters, have been deployed to fight the blaze. As of Sunday evening, the fire was only 8% contained. Officials expect it to continue spreading south and southeast, threatening more structures.

“Our goal is to keep the fire away from structures,” said Kenichi Haskett, a public information officer for the firefighting operation. The fire has affected access to Foxen Canyon Road, home to many wineries. Several of them, including Fess Parker Winery, had to close on Sunday.

Ashley Parker, co-owner of Fess Parker Winery, said that while access was cut off, there was no need to evacuate. Low humidity and high temperatures have made fighting the fire challenging. A red flag warning was in effect when the fire started due to gusty winds.

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Wildfire threatens homes and vineyards

The cause of the fire is still unknown. Other parts of California are also dealing with wildfires amid a heatwave.

The Basin Fire in Fresno County has burned over 14,000 acres, while the French Fire threatened the town of Mariposa near Yosemite National Park. Both fires were 60% contained as of Sunday. Extreme heat warnings are in effect for inland areas of California until Wednesday evening.

Temperatures are expected to reach up to 116 degrees in some places. Palmdale tied its all-time record high of 115 degrees, and Death Valley set a new record for July 6 with a high of 128 degrees. Despite the challenges, vineyard managers in Los Olivos are hopeful that the fire will be contained soon.

Parker said her winery plans to reopen on Monday. “The town of Los Olivos is in good shape. Businesses are open.

People are having a good time,” she said.

About The Author

Erica Stacey

Erica Stacey is an entrepreneur and business strategist. As a prolific writer, she leverages her expertise in leadership and innovation to empower young professionals. With a proven track record of successful ventures under her belt, Erica's insights provide invaluable guidance to aspiring business leaders seeking to make their mark in today's competitive landscape.

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