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UPDATE: Fire near El Capitan Canyon burns 443 acres; now 20% contained

Fire breaks out near El Capitan Canyon
Posted at 5:05 PM, Oct 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 02:30:41-04

UPDATE (9:12 p.m.) - The Santa Barbara County Fire Department says a fire that broke out Thursday afternoon near El Capitan Canyon burned 443 acres and is now 20 percent contained.

The fire caused the closure of Highway 101 early in the evening, but all lanes of traffic have since been opened.

Campgrounds at El Capitan State Beach were evacuated and California State Parks says camping reservations are canceled until further notice. An evacuation warning for residents between Dos Pueblos Canyon and Winchester Canyon has been lifted.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Firefighters plan to remain on scene throughout the night and into Friday morning.
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UPDATE (8:26 p.m.) - All lanes of Highway 101 are now open.
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UPDATE (7:53 p.m.) - The Red Cross has set up a shelter for those affected by the fire. It's located at the Goleta Valley Community Center at 5679 Hollister Ave.
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UPDATE (7:46 p.m.) - The CHP reports that one northbound lane and all southbound lanes of Highway 101 are open.
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UPDATE (7:22 p.m.) - The California Highway Patrol has opened one lane of Highway 101 in both directions.

An evacuation warning for residents between Dos Pueblos Canyon and Winchester Canyon has also been lifted.

A Santa Barbara County Fire Department representative says firefighters have made good progress on the fire that broke out late Thursday afternoon near El Capitan Canyon. Crews are mostly conducting mop-up at this time.

However, fire officials say that the potential for winds to grow stronger and kick up embers is still a very real possibility.

Firefighters will remain on scene throughout the night and into Friday morning working to contain the fire.
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UPDATE (6:01 p.m.) - The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reports that a brush fire that broke out Thursday afternoon near El Capitan Canyon has burned 50 acres.

Highway 101 is closed between Las Varas and Refugio as a result of the fire and campgrounds at El Capitan have been evacuated. People living between Dos Pueblos Canyon and Gaviota were also told to evacuate.

Amtrak has also stopped its Pacific Surfliner train near Goleta because of the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Firefighters are currently battling the fire from the ground and the air.

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UPDATE (5:25 p.m.) -- Santa Barbara CHP is closing Highway 101 northbound at Las Varas and Highway 101 southbound at Refugio. Officials are asking people to stay away from the area. It's unknown how long the highway will be closed.

Residents between Dos Pueblos Canyon and Gaviota are being told to evacuate the area.

Fire officials said the fire had burned at least 20 acres and there was no containment.

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(5:05 p.m.) - The Santa Barbara County Fire Department is responding to a fire off Highway 101 and El Capitan Ranch in Santa Barbara.

The blaze was reported at about 4:45 p.m. Thursday.

According to the California Highway Patrol's incident page, the El Capitian Canyon Resort and beach campground is being evacuated.

CHP says its still unclear whether or not Highwy 101 will be closed because of the fire.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.