High winds spread Southern California wildfire
High winds are fueling the Alisal Fire, which erupted Monday in Santa Barbara County, Calif. More than a thousand firefighters were battling the blaze in 40-50 mph winds, extensive drought, and steep terrain.
How big is the fire? On Wednesday, it covered more than 24 square miles in the Santa Ynez Mountains west of Santa Barbara and was only 5 percent contained. The blaze was just a few miles from the ranch once owned by former President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy. The president hosted several world leaders at the property then known as the Western White House. The fire prompted officials to shut down Highway 101, the famed coastal roadway. They also issued evacuation orders for the lightly populated area.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read author John R. Erickson’s account of a wildfire on his West Texas ranch in 2017.
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