The Lookout brush fire, in the San Marcos Pass area of Santa Barbara County, continues to put up a huge plume of smoke visible for miles, and has burned about 15 acres of brush.
The blaze was reported just before 8 a.m. in the Laurel Springs area. No structures have been damaged, but some continue to remain threatened.
Santa Barbara County, U-S Forest Service, and Painted Cave Volunteer Fire Department firefighters are all involved in the effort. The Forest Service is leading the firefighting efforts. Two water dropping helicopters, and two air tankers are being used on the fire. Firefighters are emphasizing the fire so far is moving very slowly.
The CHP has closed Highway 154, so travelers between the Santa Barbara area, and the Santa Ynez Valley will have to use the 101 Freeway. There have been some evacuations, in the Laurel Springs and Painted Cave areas. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department used its reverse 911 system to let people in the Painted Cave area know about the blaze.
The fire has been burning in a drainage area, and some power lines are reported to be down.
The fire is burning near Laurel Springs Ranch, a retreat which was once owned by actress Jane Fonda.
While the weather has been hot the last few days, there’s little wind reported, which could be a key in firefighters efforts to control the blaze. Temperatures in the fire area this morning are in the mid-80′s, but could climb into the 90′s by mid-afternoon.