Fires

Alamo Fire grows to 24,000 acres, still at 10 percent containment

Smoke from the Alamo Fire rises into the air east of Santa Maria and the Twitchell Reservoir. The blaze grew to nearly 24,000 acres Sunday morning at 10 percent containment.
Smoke from the Alamo Fire rises into the air east of Santa Maria and the Twitchell Reservoir. The blaze grew to nearly 24,000 acres Sunday morning at 10 percent containment.

The Alamo Fire east of Santa Maria grew to nearly 24,000 acres acres overnight and remains at 10 percent containment, fire officials said Sunday morning.

It’s the largest fire currently burning in California. The Whittier Fire in Santa Barbara County is the third-largest as of Sunday morning.

Crews fighting the Alamo Fire are once again expecting hot weather and low humidity throughout the day, with temperatures already in the 80s in the fire area, officials said. The focus of Sunday’s containment efforts will be along Tepusquet Road at the fire’s eastern edge, Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County spokesman Chris Elms said. He said crews will be attempting to prevent the fire from spreading west of Tepusquet Peak and protect homes in the Tepusquet Canyon area. Officials said 58 crews, including air support, are working the fire Sunday.

Elms said officials are not aware of any structures that have been destroyed. The fire had nearly tripled in size Saturday afternoon, growing to 19,000 acres.

Evacuation orders remain in place for the following areas:

▪ Blazing Saddle Drive

▪ Tepusquet Road, south of Blazing Saddle Drive to Santa Maria Mesa Road.

The American Red Cross has opened an evacuation center at the Minami Community Center at 600 W. Enos Drive in Santa Maria. For evacuation assistance, contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office at 805-683-2724.

For help with animals, residents are asked to call Santa Barbara County Animal Services at 805-681-4332 before bringing any pets to a shelter. Large animals can be taken to the Elks Rodeo grounds at 4040 Highway 1 in Santa Maria.

At 23,867 acres, the Alamo Fire is the largest fire burning in California as of Sunday morning, according to Cal Fire. The next largest wildfire is the Schaeffer Fire burning in Tulare County, about 17 miles north of Kernville. That fire is 14,342 acres and 11 percent contained.

The third-largest fire is the “out of control” Whittier Fire near Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County. The Whittier Fire, which started Saturday along Highway 154, is 7,800 acres and 5 percent contained.

About 5,000 firefighters are battling 14 large wildfires in California.

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