La Brea Fire Spreads Fast

The La Brea Fire west of New Cuyama grew to more than 10,000 acres in size.

The fire has already sent a thick cloud of smoke over the area and will burn for days before it is contained, according to fire officials, Midway Driller reports.

The La Brea Fire, which started yesterday at 2:50 pm, continues to burn in an area of the San Rafael Wilderness that is very steep and difficult to reach on the ground.

Heavy fuels (vegetation), long range spotting and moderate to rapid rates of spread continue to hamper fire fighters in their efforts to contain the fire. Extreme fire behavior was observed, as the fire made major runs throughout the day and was fuel driven. Flames from the fire could be seen on the ridgeline from areas along SR-166 this afternoon, The Santa Barbara Independent reports.

Officials said 644 people were fighting the blaze in a remote and largely inaccessible part of the Los Padres National Forest in northern Santa Barbara County. Hand crews, aircraft and bulldozers along Sierra Madre Ridge Road were the main resources fighting the fire.

Sierra Madre Ridge Road is closed and campgrounds in the area have been evacuated. Highway 166 remained open, The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports.