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The Latest: Firefighters make progress against blaze

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a California wildfire (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

Firefighters are making progress containing a California wildfire that is still threatening more than 2,400 homes and other buildings.

No homes have burned and the blaze in the mountains above Goleta in Santa Barbara County was 10 percent contained Tuesday after burning more than 6 square miles of forestland and brushy foothills.

Most of the nearly 5,500 people who were ordered to evacuate on Monday are being allowed home.

Authorities say an approaching storm could help douse the blaze, but it isn’t expected to drop rain until after midnight. The weather front is bringing erratic winds that can drive the flames.

Rain also could bring the risk of mudslides on fire-denuded ground, although forecasters say only minor debris flows are expected.

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11:55 a.m.

Authorities say most of the nearly 5,500 people who fled a Southern California wildfire will be allowed to return home.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Tuesday the evacuation area was being reduced.

The fire erupted Monday in the mountains above Santa Barbara shortly and was blown down toward neighborhoods by strong winds.

However, no homes have been lost and no injuries were reported.

The fire has grown to more than 6.5 square miles (16.8 square kilometers) and remains uncontained.

The sheriff says evacuations for some people will likely continue.

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7:45 a.m.

Officials say a Southern California wildfire burning in mountains near Santa Barbara has grown to 4,100 acres (1,659 hectares).

Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason says there is zero containment of the blaze early Tuesday.

Thousands of area residents are under evacuation orders but Eliason says no homes have been destroyed and there have been no injuries.

The fire erupted Monday afternoon in Los Padres National Forest and grew rapidly in bone-dry vegetation.

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6:40 a.m.

Officials say thousands of Southern California residents have fled their homes because of a wildfire burning in mountains near Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara County Fire spokesman Mike Eliason tells the KEYT television station that as many as 6,300 people have been evacuated and that about 2,400 structures are threatened early Tuesday.

The fire erupted Monday afternoon in Los Padres National Forest and has grown to about 3,000 acres (1,214 hectares).

Weather forecasts call for winds with gusts of 60 to 70 mph (97 to 112 kph) at times into Tuesday morning but rain is expected later in the day.

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1:10 a.m.

Crews are battling a wind-driven brushfire that’s threatening homes near the town of Goleta north of Santa Barbara.

The fire started at around 4 p.m. Monday in Los Padres National Forest and quickly grew to about 3,000 acres (1,214 hectares).

The fire was mainly burning in the forest but evacuations were ordered in Goleta. A fire last year in the coastal city destroyed 13 homes.

There’s no immediate word on whether any homes have been damaged in this new blaze.

The fire is burning through dry, brushy canyons and ridges, pushed by winds gusting to 30 mph (48 kph).

Weather forecasts call for winds with gusts of 60 to 70 mph (97 to 112 kph) at times into Tuesday morning but rain is expected later in the day.

California News / News

The Associated Press