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Shifting winds challenge crews fighting Alisal Fire in California

Alisal Fire
Posted at 3:07 AM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 11:31:16-04

Shifting winds posed new challenges for firefighters battling a blaze in the Southern California coastal mountains that threatened ranches and rural homes and kept a major highway shut down for days.

Scripps station KSBY in San Luis Obispo, California, reports that one firefighter suffered "moderate" injuries Tuesday while fighting the blaze. Four buildings have been destroyed, but another 120 structures remain "threatened."

The Alisal Fire was sparked on Monday afternoon near the Alisal Reservoir. The wildfire now covers more than 24 square miles in the Santa Ynez Mountains west of Santa Barbara, and containment remains at just 5%.

The properties being protected include Rancho del Cielo, which was once owned by Ronald and Nancy Reagan and was known as the Western White House during his presidency.

On Tuesday, officials were forced to close a portion of U.S. 101 in the Santa Barbara area in both directions, causing significant traffic delays in the area. They also shut down a parallel railway, which has caused commuter rail delays.

Officials told The Associated Press that the highway could remain shut down until the weekend.