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Cave Fire burns 4,000 acres in Southern California; evacuations ordered

By
Darryl Coote & Sommer Brokaw
Fire activity blocks out the sun Tuesday morning as flames move north toward East Camino Cielo in the Los Padres National Forest. Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara County Fire Department/Twitter
Fire activity blocks out the sun Tuesday morning as flames move north toward East Camino Cielo in the Los Padres National Forest. Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara County Fire Department/Twitter

Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Evacuations were ordered for areas of Santa Barbara as a fire in Southern California, which had burned through more than 4,000 acres by Tuesday, threatened homes, authorities said.

The Cave Fire ignited Monday afternoon and by 7 a.m. Tuesday it had grown to an estimated 4,100 acres with zero percent containment, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department Capt. Daniel Bertucelli said.

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The fire hasn't damaged any homes, but one or two buildings outside the home such as a shed, barn or garage have been destroyed, Bertucelli said. No injuries have been reported.

Some 600 firefighters, 10 air tankers and 9 helicopters were battling the blaze.

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Santa Barbara City College closed its campuses Tuesday and Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution."

Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders and warnings across the city. Santa Barbara is located about 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

"Please remain alert and be prepared to evacuate if conditions change," Santa Barbara County said.

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Red Cross Central California said an evacuation shelter had been established and the Los Angeles Fire Department said it dispatched a strike team of five engines. The Ventura County Fire Department said it sent two strike teams of 10 fire engines to assist.

Southern California Edison, the area's largest electricity supplier, said it was considering turning off power to hundreds of Santa Barbara homes due to the fire.

Power outages were reported in unincorporated areas between Goleta and Santa Barbara cities, along Highway 154 through Mission Canyon, and in parts of nearby Summerland and Carpinteria.

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The National Weather Service issued an urgent wind advisory Monday night for Santa Barbara County as northern winds with gusts of up to 50 mph were expected to thrash the area.

"Gusty winds will make driving difficult and could blow around unsecured objects," the NWS said. "Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result."

Gov. Gavin Newsom's office said it was monitoring the situation.

Another wildfire, the Cashe Fire, also started in Northern California on Monday, in Yolo County near Sacramento. Its acreage and containment was not immediately reported.

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