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"White Fire" prompts evacuations

Wildfire outside Santa Barbara chars at least 1,800 acres

May 28, 2013

The “White Fire” has burned 1,800 acres and was only 10 percent contained as of Tuesday morning according to the U.S. Forest Service. Witnesses say it’s moving away from populated areas.

The blaze broke out around 2:45 p.m. Monday near the White Rock camping area in Red Rock Canyon in the Los Padres National Forest, about 12 miles north of Santa Barbara.

More than 550 local and U.S. Forest Service firefighters and about a dozen aircraft are battling the blaze, which has forced the evacuation of an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people.

Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District also issued a countywide air quality warning.

The fire went through Sage Hill Campground but the damage was not immediately known.

No homes have been damaged or destroyed, and no injuries were reported.

The fire has “extreme” potential to grow, as the area is difficult to access and has ample fuel in the form of chaparral, brush and trees, according to the Forest Service.

The American Red Cross set up an evacuation center, and another center was set up for displaced horses, which were then put up in area stables.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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