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Cave Fire's aftermath keeps Highway 154 closed

Posted at 4:11 AM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 13:43:13-05

As the Cave Fire continues to burn, many road closures are still in place, California Highway Patrol Officers are working around the clock to make sure motorists stay safe and don't drive into out of active fire zones.

The Cave Fire burned through the brush on both sides of Highway 154 Monday night in a scene Santa Barbara CHP Officer Dylan Youngblood described as "apocalyptic."

"Driving through there it was unbelievable just the amount of fire on both sides and the embers," Officer Youngblood said.

While this sight might make some the flames make most head in the other direction, CHP Santa Barbara Officers say there were several drivers stopping to take a picture.

"It gets really difficult when people go against those signs because not only do we have to make sure we get those people out because they're placing themselves in danger, but also if somebody else sees them go through they might think it's okay to do so," Officer Youngblood explained.

Now as the fire has mostly moved out from the 154, CHP officers are still patrolling areas that have been evacuated and making sure no one is trespassing into vacant homes.

"There are infractions you'd be cited for if you try to drive into a closure that's clearly marked off and it's also an arrestable offense for trespassing into an evacuation zone," Officer Shannan Sams said.

And for those who live in these evacuation zones, officers say they're trying to help where they can

"Earlier today we got a call and responded out to deliver some oxygen for someone whose caregiver was not able to make it through our closure so we understand some of those things pop up and we try to help out where we can," said Officer

There are several areas where guardrails have been significantly burned, which officers say could impact how long it takes CalTrans to reopen the 154.