Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wildfire grows near West Camino Cielo


Fire crews battled a slowly growing wildfire off West Camino Cielo yesterday evening that swelled to at least 10 acres by 8 p.m., fire officials said, but had yet to pose an immediate threat to any structures.
Firefighters headed to the scene of the blaze, approximately four miles west of Highway 154, at around 5:45 p.m., County Fire Capt. Eli Iskow said. Initially burning in less than an acre of brush, flames slowly started moving downhill toward Goleta as the evening wore on.

By 6:50 p.m., the fire had burned two acres and continued a steady march downhill as firefighters scrambled to get ahead of it before winds picked up, Capt. Iskow said.
“We’re keeping up with it,” he said. “It’s growing slowly.”
Authorities closed West Camino Cielo to all motorists other than emergency vehicles at 7:30 p.m. and air tankers began dropping fire retardant ahead of the flames to slow their progress.
Approximately 200 firefighters had joined the battle by 8 p.m., authorities said, along with two helicopters and two air tankers.
Although no buildings were immediately threatened, two strike teams dedicated to structure protection moved into place at Dos Pueblos High School as a precautionary measure, Capt. Iskow said.
Fire crews also headed into Glen Annie Canyon and other nearby areas to provide an added layer of protection in case the flames picked up speed. Smoke wafted over Goleta as air tankers continued dropping retardant into the evening hours.
Rolf Larsen, a spokesman for the Los Padres National Forest, said hand crews will have to do most of the work, as rocky terrain will likely prevent bulldozers from entering the area to build firebreaks.
He said it was difficult to estimate size and containment figures for the blaze, dubbed the Gap Fire, when reached at 9 p.m.
“It’s getting dark and there’s no one calling any containment on it yet,” Larsen said.
More information is available to the public by calling the Los Padres National Forest information center in Goleta at 961-5770.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Thank you for posting information related to this fire. My neighbors and I have been watching it since 7pm and I appreciate your succinct, informative post. This fire season is off to a hot start, so writers are wise conserve adjectives when writing early in the season.

Thanks for being a reliable source for local news.