Wildfire Updates: Firefighters Make Progress Containing Northern California Fires

Posted July 09, 2018

Santa Barbara County said 10 to 20 structures had burned and 2,000 people were evacuated.

In heat-stricken Southern California, powerful winds that sent an overnight inferno hopscotching through the Santa Barbara County community of Goleta vanished in the morning, allowing firefighters to extinguish smoldering ruins of an estimated 20 structures, including homes.

Officials say the 100-acre (40.5-hectare) fire in Goleta is 80 percent contained Saturday and numerous 2,500 evacuated residents will be able to return by late afternoon.

Though officials suspect fireworks, the investigation into the cause of the fire remains active. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the county.

Evacuations have been ordered in parts of San Bernardino County because of multiple fast-moving fires in the San Bernardino National Forest.

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Meanwhile, to the northeast in Lake County, firefighters maintained 92 percent containment on the 15,000-acre Pawnee Fire. Fire officials said around 5 p.m. Saturday that some areas under mandatory orders would be downgraded to an evacuation warning.

The fire about 32 miles north of Craig has destroyed two structures.

Meanwhile, in Northern California, at least one person has died in the Klamathon Fire, which began near the OR border.

The Red Cross has opened an Evacuation Center at the Goleta Valley Community Center at 5679 Hollister Avenue, according to the SB county Twitter.

The San Francisco Chronicle traced the northern blaze's origins to Thursday, when a resident intentionally lit a small fire on a friend's property near the border with Oregon.

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Firefighters battled destructive fire Saturday that snaked through a hillside area of Goleta, one of several blazes that destroyed homes during a record-setting heat wave in Southern California.

"We just grabbed everything you can't replace or re-buy", Stanfill said.

The current heatwave has also prompted health concerns in southern California especially, even for those not affected by the wildfires.

Cal Fire reports "extreme" fire activity, with the fire growing in several directions, mostly northward. Winds are now pushing the fire southwest.

County fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni tells KNX-AM radio that he saw homes burning Friday night in a residential area.

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The Klamathon, which has destroyed 72 structures and blackened almost 30,500 acres (12,340 hectares), was 25 percent contained as of Sunday morning, according to Cal Fire.