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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Wildfire nears Reagan’s ‘Western White House’ in Southern California

SOLVANG. A major coastal highway remained closed Wednesday and an evacuation order was passed due to a growing fire caused by high winds that increased the risk of wildfires in much of California.

More than 200 firefighters fought the Alisal fire, which covered 21 square miles (54 square kilometers) along the Santa Barbara County coastline and was localized at only 5%, county fire officials said.

A fire burned near Rancho del Cielo, which was once owned by Ronald and Nancy Reagan and was known as the Western White House during his presidency. Firefighters guarded the ranch where Reagan hosted world leaders.

The fire broke out on Monday on the ridge and rushed to the ocean, forcing the blockage of US 101, the only major highway on this stretch of coast. Evacuation orders and warnings were in effect for the ranch and several rural communities.

Although the area was sparsely populated, the fire threatened more than 100 homes, ranches and other buildings, firefighters said.

“The fire burns in dense chaparral, is propelled by strong winds and grows at a high rate,” said a fire report Tuesday, as gusts reached 70 mph (113 km / h) in some areas.

A fire burned near Rancho del Cielo, which was once owned by Ronald and Nancy Reagan and was known as the Western White House during his presidency. Firefighters guarded the ranch where Reagan hosted world leaders.

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors declared a local state of emergency on Tuesday and asked Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency to free up additional state resources for firefighters and evacuees.

In Northern California, firefighters stepped up containment fire that destroyed 25 mobile homes, 16 camper vans and a park at Rancho Marina RV in Sacramento County.

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No injuries were reported and the cause was still being investigated.

To the south, in San Joaquin County, a man sustained severe third-degree burns to most of his body, and about five mobile homes were damaged by flames that swept through the Islander mobile home park, Lathrop-Manteki fire chief Josh Capper told Fox40-TV. …

Strong gusts of wind swept through the state on Monday, knocking down trees and raising blinding clouds of dust. In anticipation of the wind event, utility Pacific Gas & Electric cut power on Monday to approximately 24,000 customers in target areas of 23 counties to prevent fires from erupting if gusts of wind damage electrical equipment.

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