California Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Memorial Day Campers In Santa Barbara County

Cali Wildfire
A California wildfire raging near Ventura County early May.

A wildfire that began about 2:45 p.m. local time on Monday in California's Los Padres National Forest forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 people, including people camped in the park for the Memorial Day long weekend, according to news reports.

The fire, which was fanned by winds of about 20 mph, spread across 700 acres of the park, which is located in the state's Santa Barbara County, Associated Press reported, quoting U.S. Forest Service officials.

According to the National Weather Service, the winds could worsen as night falls, but fire officials also hoped to be aided by the weather. "We're hoping the temperatures drop and the humidity rises," county fire Capt. David Sadecki told the AP.

The fire, which claimed a forest service garage and two vehicles, is now a threat to about 50 homes, including cabins and vacation rentals, resulting in the evacuation of 50 to 75 residents evacuated, Sadecki said.

Paradise Road and many campgrounds along it were closed and an evacuation center was set up at Santa Barbara City College by the American Red Cross.

The county issued an air quality warning because of the smoke, which could be seen rising over the mountains, and wind, and advised people to spend as little time as possible outdoors.

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