Crews in Santa Barbara County on Friday built containment lines around half of the Real Fire that has blackened more than 400 acres since igniting bear Goleta on Thursday, authorities said.
The fire started around 4:30 p.m. Thursday near the 12000 block of Calle Real, which is about 13 miles west of Goleta.
The blaze, dubbed the Real Fire, had scorched 420 acres as of Friday morning, according to a tweet from Cal Fire. Estimates Thursday evening estimated the fire had burned as many as 443 acres. The blaze was 50% contained Friday afternoon, accordinv to Santa Barbara County Fire Department officials. update.
#Real Fire – UPDATE- Real IC reporting fire stil 420 acres and is now 50% contained.
— SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) October 19, 2019
About 100 firefighters were still battling the blaze Friday morning, Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesperson Daniel Bertucelli tweeted.
Crews managed to keep the fire from spreading overnight but “critical fire weather” is expected by Friday evening.
Bertucelli shared video of a fire retardant drop that landed near ground crews as they were fighting the fire.
— Daniel Bertucelli (@SBCFireInfo) October 18, 2019
The wind-driven fire forced several evacuations Thursday night, and prompted the temporary closure of a portion of the 101 Freeway between Las Varas Canyon and Refugio roads.
All of the evacuations, except for those in the campgrounds at El Capitan State Beach and at El Capitan Canyon Resort — near the fire’s origin — were lifted Thursday night.
Campers were being allowed back into El Capitan Canyon Resort to retrieve their personal belongings Friday morning but the State Beach campground was still closed, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
Starting @ 10am, campers & residents evacuated from the Ocean Mesa campground & El Capitan Canyon Resort will be allowed to retrieve their personal belongings. Citizens can come to the main entrance and they will be escorted from there. The State beach campground is still closed.
— SB Sheriff's Office (@sbsheriff) October 18, 2019
State Parks officials said camping reservations for El Capitan were canceled until further notice.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.