California Wildfires

Evacuations Lifted as Firefighters Increase Alisal Fire Containment to 80 Percent

The fire grew to 17,200 acres in the coastal mountains west of Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department

A Cal Fire engine company provides structure protection to a ranch off Highway 101 Guillermo Canyon, south of Gaviota State Beach.

Residents who evacuated due to the Alisal Fire west of Santa Barbara have been allowed to return home.

All evacuation orders and warnings were canceled Sunday afternoon.

The fire was 80% contained Monday morning and its size was holding at about 17,200 acres.

The fire erupted in the Santa Ynez Mountains during high winds on Oct. 11. The cause remains under investigation.

In the Sierra Nevada, the KNP complex fire was 55% contained and no forward movement was expected Monday, according to the daily status report.

A cold front passed through California overnight, bringing some precipitation. The cooler air mass and much higher humidity were expected to persist in the KNP area.

Kings Canyon National Park was scheduled to reopen Monday, but developed areas of Sequoia National Park remain closed. Closures of Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument remain in effect.

The KNP Complex has been burning since Sept. 9, when lightning ignited two fires that later merged.

Drought in the West tied to climate change is making wildfires harder to fight. Scientists say climate change has made the West much warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

Copyright AP - Associated Press