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'You need to get out now': 15 households were evacuated from their homes as Lake Fire continues to grow

According to Marc Peebles, the Lake Fire Public Information Officer, 15 households have been evacuated near the location of the fire because it keeps growing.
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Posted at 11:39 PM, Jul 07, 2024

Over 1,000 firefighters are working to contain the Lake Fire located northeast of the city of Los Olivos.

According to Marc Peebles, the Lake Fire Public Information Officer, 15 households have been evacuated near the location of the fire because it keeps growing.

On Sunday morning, many locals were busy evacuating areas near Tunnel Road.

Courtney Barnes was one of the locals who evacuated.

“They called her at 1:40 in the morning and said you need to get out now,” Barnes said.

Barnes and his cousin own property near Tunnel Ranch and were one of the 15 households ordered to leave.

“All of a sudden, the last two days was like holy smokes and it just started coming right towards us,” Barnes said.

Fire crews who are working on the Lake Fire are staying at the base camp at the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo Grounds.

On Sunday, Peebles gave an update on what firefighters are working on.

“They’re going to be working very hard to build containment lines and reinforce any containment line that they have," said Peebles. "They will be working hard looking for hotspots and try and hold that fire into the fire footprint that they have now."

Fire officials say the Lake Fire still has the potential for growth as it continues to burn to the Northwest and South.

“As we start to see the temperatures rise and the sun starts to beat down on the fire, we will see the fuel bed start to heat up during the day. As the fuel bed heats, the fire will get more active,” Peebles said.

The Lake Fire has grown thousands of acres in the past two days and as the fire grows, so does the potential impact on homes in the area.

An evacuation shelter has been set up for those who are affected by the fire.

“There are places to sleep, food, comfort kits,” Red Cross volunteer spokesperson Sivani Babu shares.

No one has checked into the shelter at this time but it is located at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Solvang.

If you are evacuating and have time to pack, Babu says, “We encourage evacuating residents to bring medications, toiletries, extra clothes important documents, and other important items you’d need at the shelter, small pets are also welcome.”

Firefighters are utilizing all the resources they can to get Lake Fire under control.

“Numerous strike teams, dozers, hand crews, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters will be dropping on the fire so we can get the ground crews in there," Peebles said. "We have some hot shots and other firefighters to continue to knock this thing down, and hopefully get some containment line here in the next several days."

Barnes is hoping to be back on the property within two to three days.

“Hopefully, no one gets hurt, and we save as many structures as possible,” Barnes said.

Peebles says everyone evacuated safely and no structures were damaged.

The county has several animal evacuation resources available if anyone needs assistance evacuating large animals. Click here to access the information.