Wednesday 16 October 2019

Firefighters battle new wildfire

Firefighting crews approach a blaze near Santa Barbara, California (AP)
Firefighting crews approach a blaze near Santa Barbara, California (AP)

Firefighters are battling a new wildfire pushed along by heavy gusts of wind in the wine country hills north-west of Santa Barbara, California.

Santa Barbara County fire captain David Sadecki said the fast-moving grass fire erupted on Tuesday afternoon and rapidly grew from 2 acres to 170 acres.

The blaze is not contained, but Capt Sadecki said dozens of firefighters and two water-dropping helicopters have stopped its forward movement. He said the fire is being driven by wind gusts of up to 50mph and hot, dry conditions.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sent out an evacuation warning to the roughly 2,000 people living in the area. Santa Ynez is home to many horse ranches and vineyards.

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