Covering the fight against California's wildfires

Firefighters Slow Spread of White Fire

The brush fire forced campground evacuations Monday

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Wednesday, May 29, 2013  |  Updated 9:31 AM PDT
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    Firefighters gained ground overnight on a wildfire that has burned since Monday in the Los Padres National Forest north of Santa Barbara.

    The White fire has burned an estimated 1,858 acres, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. The fire was 80 percent contained early Wednesday after a persistent ground and aerial attack that included several water-dropping aircraft.

    About 630 firefighters were assigned to the fire early Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to be in the high-80s and low-90s Wednesday, and wind speeds are expected to decrease.

    A wind advisory remains in effect for the area until 3 a.m. Thursday.

    The fire, which began Monday afternoon near the Santa Ynez River, threatened about 50 homes and cabins and prompted campground evacuations during the Memorial Day holiday. Campgrounds remain closed, but the home evacuations were called off Tuesday evening.

    The fire burned through Sage Hill campground Monday. About 4,000 people were evacuated, but there have been no reports of injuries.

    Several significant fires have burned in the area north of Santa Barbara in recent years. In 1990, the devastating Painted Cave fire  flared-up from the wilderness area and burned about 400 homes. One woman was killed during the July 1990 arson fire.

    In 2007, the Zaca Fire destroyed more than 240,000 acres -- the second largest blaze in state history.

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