Since beginning Monday afternoon, the Allisal fire has consumed nearly 6,000 acres in Southern California, fueled by strong winds and threatening to destroy more than 100 structures, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
A spokesman for the department said that around 600 firefighters have been pressed into service to douse it, but so far they have not been able to control it. said on tuesday.
According to the state fire agency Cal Fire, the cause of the fire, which started at 2:30 pm on Monday, is being investigated.
The fire began near Ellisle Reservoir along the Gaviota Coast on 76 miles of undeveloped coastline in Southern California. Parts of Route 101 were closed on Monday as winds pushed the fire up the Santa Ynez Mountains and toward the coast.
Alice is one of the latest fires in California, where four 100,000-plus-acre mega-fires are still burning, including the Dixie fire, which began in July and consumed more than 963,000 acres.
For the past two years, the state has surrounded itself with massive fires burning more intensely than at any time on record.
According to Cal Fire, nine of the 20 largest fires have occurred in California since 2020. The fires have forced state and federal officials to marshal armies of people and resources at all costs.
Every year forest fires occur all over the West. But scientists say the long periods of unusually high temperatures this summer, which have contributed to the devastating fires, are in keeping with the expected effects of climate change.
The world has begun to experience an increase in heat waves, droughts and other types of extreme weather over the past several decades as the atmosphere has warmed, and most climate models predict that such events will increase because of warming. Will continue
Gaviota Coast Conservancy board member Gunner Totrim said the 200,000-acre Gaviota Coast is now under threat from the Allisal fires, which is home to wildlife such as mountain lions, badgers, bobcats and coyotes.
Mr Totrim, 47, who lives in Gaviota, said on Tuesday he could see helicopters flying over Refugio Canyon and pouring water on the fire.
He said he was not yet concerned that the fire would cause significant damage to the Gaviota Coast. The fire could potentially benefit its ecosystem, Mr Totrim said.
“I think, assuming it doesn’t turn into a mega-fire, these chaparral species are going to bounce back and be healthier than they would in decades,” he said.
So far, the wind direction, which is blowing out to sea, has prevented the fire from causing significant damage to the coast or reaching Goleta, a town in the southern part of Santa Barbara County, according to Ray Ford, a writer who wrote about Santa Barbara County. Barbara has studied wildfires and helped build several trails along the Gaviota Coast.
“Everything is in the hands of the wind,” he said.