Brush fire prompts evacuations along Santa Barbara County coast

Data pix.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- A wind-driven brush fire triggered evacuations after breaking out Thursday along the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County, authorities said.

KTLA reports that flames had also shut down a stretch of the 101 Freeway after they first reported around 4:30 p.m. near the 12000 block of Calle Real, about 13 miles west of Goleta, according to county fire officials.

The blaze, being dubbed the Real Fire, covered about 443 acres and was 20% contained.

People in the campgrounds at El Capitan State Beach and at El Capitan Canyon Resort, near the fire’s origin, were evacuated.

Evacuation orders were lifted for residents between Dos Pueblos Canyon Road and Gaviota.

Those who live a bit further east, between Dos Pueblos Canyon and Winchester Canyon roads, had earlier been told to be prepared to evacuate. But that warning was also lifted due to changing conditions, officials said.

Those affected by the evacuations could shelter at the Goleta Valley Community Center at 5679 Hollister Ave., according to the Red Cross.

The wind-driven blaze had been closing in on the 101 Freeway, which was shut down for a time. But the coastal thoroughfare was reopened by 7:30 p.m. after being closed between Las Varas Canyon and Refugio roads.

Amtrak service had also resumed through the area.

State Parks officials said camping reservations for El Capitan were canceled until further notice.

The fire’s cause was under investigation.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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