Wildfire burns northwest of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County issues air quality watch due to smoke and ash

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. | October 18, 2012

Firefighters working a wildfire northwest of Santa Barbara, Calif., say the blaze threatened 100 homes and forced the evacuation of 40 residences.

The Lookout Fire, which started around 8 a.m. Wednesday, had burned 25 to 30 acres in the Santa Ynez Mountain range by late Wednesday afternoon, the Santa Maria (Calif.) Times reported.

Some 300 personnel were fighting the fire. One firefighter was reported to have received a minor injury.

Residents of the Painted Cave community were issued a mandatory evacuation order Wednesday morning, but the order was lifted at 5 p.m.

Authorities said 60 more homes in the Trout Club and Hidden Valley communities were warned to be ready to evacuate if necessary.

The fire was difficult to access because it was in a steep rocky area.

Santa Barbara County officials issued an air quality watch for southern and central part of the county because of smoke and ash from the fire.

The fire's cause is under investigation. It is in the same area as the Painted Cave Fire in 1990 that consumed 5,000 acres and destroyed nearly 500 homes and other buildings.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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