Home-threat­en­ing South­ern Cal­i­for­nia wild­fires on wane

Porterville Recorder - - NEWS -

LOMPOC— A trio of wild­fires that threat­ened at least 100 homes on Cal­i­for­nia’s Cen­tral Coast ap­peared to be eas­ing Fri­day night. But some canyon houses re­mained at risk, of­fi­cials said.

A half-dozen small fires that erupted along a road Fri­day af­ter­noon merged into three blazes that burned 300 acres of thick man­zanita, chap­ar­ral, grass and oak, Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Elia­son said.

Winds pushed the flames close to Lompoc neigh­bor­hoods, and about 900 peo­ple were told to evac­u­ate, he said.

By evening, how­ever, the winds had eased and a ma­rine layer of cooler, wet­ter air was ar­riv­ing. Flames that had crept close to homes and sent fiery em­bers into back­yards had van­ished from many stretches of the 300-acre fire, he said.

“Thing have died down con­sid­er­ably,” he said.

Some evacuations were be­ing lifted, and the his­toric La Purisima Mis­sion, founded in 1787, was no longer at im­me­di­ate risk.

The north­ern part of the fire re­mained ac­tive, how­ever, and homes and ranches in some canyons re­mained at risk, Elia­son said.

About 270 fire­fight­ers and 11 air­craft fought the blaze. Neigh­bor­hoods were doused with col­or­ful fire re­tar­dant from the air.

“Some of the houses are com­pletely red; the houses, the cars, the roads, ev­ery­thing is painted Phos-chek red,” Elia­son said, re­fer­ring to the fire re­tar­dant.

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