Tuesday, May 28, 2013

California: Surging wildfire forces campers, residents to evacuate mountains near Santa Barbara

A surging wildfire forced more than 1,000 people, including Memorial Day campers, to evacuate the mountains of California’s Santa Barbara County, officials said.

The fire broke out about 2:45 p.m. Monday in Los Padres National Forest about 15 miles north of Santa Barbara and quickly surged to 700 acres amid winds of about 20 mph, U.S. Forest Service officials said.

The fire was threatening about 50 homes, many of them cabins and vacation rentals, and 50 to 75 residents had evacuated, county fire Capt. David Sadecki said.

Paradise Road and the many campgrounds along it were closed, forcing about 1,000 campers to evacuate, Sadecki said.