County Claims Local Emergency for Cave Fire

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A fire broke out near Santa Barbara on Monday afternoon, prompting thousands of mandatory evacuations in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Santa Barbara County set up an emergency call center for the Cave Fire, which can be reached at 833.688.5551.

The fire was a threat to an estimated 2,400 structures, Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason told KEYT-TV. According to the National Weather Service, morning winds of 10 miles per hour are expected to drop off in the afternoon Tuesday.

A wildfire that exploded in size in California mountains north of Santa Barbara has forced as many as 6,300 people from their homes, but there were no injuries and no homes had been lost, authorities said Tuesday. Evacuation warnings are for 154 west to Fairrview and Ontare East to Gibraltar.

The Cave fire started just after 4 p.m. near East Camino Cielo and Painted Cave Road and by 8 p.m. had grown to at least 2,500 acres, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

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Check Santa Barbara County road closures here. Please use U.S. 101 as an alternate route. "Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result".

Crews earlier on Tuesday were battling a wind-driven brushfire that's threatened homes near the town of Goleta north of Santa Barbara.

Smoke from the Cave Fire and prescribed burns in neighboring counties was impacting Santa Barbara County air quality Monday, and the Air Pollution Control District has real-time monitoring information on its website here.

The fire was mainly burning through dry, brushy canyons and ridges of the Santa Ynez Mountains but evacuations were ordered in populated foothill areas.

The risky cycle of fire and flood is a raw memory for many people in the region.

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