In ‘Rare Sight,’ Snow Covers Area Charred by Cave Fire Near Santa Barbara

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Snow fell in areas as low as 3,000 feet in the Santa Barbara County mountains on Thanksgiving Day, blanketing some spots charred by the 3,100-acre Cave Fire that’s yet to be fully contained Thursday, officials said.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department tweeted photos of snow covering East Camino Cielo, which was still smoldering just the day before.

“The recently charred chaparral covered in snow is a rare sight for the Santa Barbara South Coast,” spokesman Mike Eliason said.

The blaze broke out Monday afternoon north of Santa Barbara in the Los Padres National Forest. Strong winds fanned the flames and forced about 5,500 residents in nearby areas to flee.

All evacuation orders were lifted by Wednesday morning, when a storm doused the fire. Officials also canceled a debris flow warning for the area, which is not far from where a flood that came from burned slopes triggered a mudslide that killed 23 people in Montecito nearly two years ago.

The Cave Fire has burned about 3,126 acres and was 70% contained as of Thursday night, the Fire Department said. Some 300 firefighters remain assigned to the fire on Thursday, according to the agency.

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