Lake Fire enters sixth day: nearly 29,000 acres burned, 1,500 evacuated
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Lake Fire enters sixth day: nearly 29,000 acres burned, 1,500 evacuated

Largest fire in California, largest in Santa Barbara County since the Thomas Fire in 2018.

Lake Fire enters sixth day: nearly 29,000 acres burned, 1,500 evacuated

The Lake Fire as seen from Santa Ynez Peak on Wednesday afternoon, July 10 | Source: PG&E

Spreading to nearly 29,000 acres, the Lake Fire is the largest actively burning in California and the largest in Santa Barbara County since the 2018 Thomas Fire. It is burning in a sparsely populated remote area, making evacuation alerts a bit of a chore for sheriff’s deputies and Search and Rescue volunteers, who are knocking on every door and making sure residents know they need to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

About 450 people have been ordered to evacuate since the fire broke out July 5, and another 1,200 residents have been warned to be ready to leave their homes. An incident report Wednesday morning said 1,500 people have been evacuated so far because of the fire. New evacuation warnings were added along Cachuma Creek, Alisos Canyon and Armour Ranch Road early yesterday morning. The fire was moving down the foothills and was about eight miles from the town of Los Olivos at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley.

The main preparations by more than 2,400 firefighters to defend buildings and contain the blaze took place on a relatively calm but hot night Tuesday. Heat warnings remain in effect in the area. Four firefighters suffered minor injuries but were quickly treated. The fire continues to spread southeast, where crews are looking at forest trails and roads as access and containment lines.

As the wind picks up, embers continue to pour into the fine grasses that have grown, said Daniel Michael, a regional fire planner for the Forest Service. And because of the steep canyons and sinkholes in the San Rafael Mountains, crews working directly over the fire were taking precautions, setting up lookouts and watching to see which way the flames were likely to go.

For the latest information on air quality, evacuations, warnings, roads and other helpful information, visit ReadySBC.org.