Firefighters increase containment of coastal California fire

March 13, 2022 GMT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — A wind-driven wildfire that prompted evacuations near Santa Barbara was 20% contained on Sunday, authorities said.

The blaze broke out Saturday in a canyon near Hollister Ranch, a gated subdivision along the Gaviota Coast. Evacuation orders for about 30 homes were downgraded to warnings around noon on Sunday.

The Hollister Fire was pushed by erratic winds as it consumed at least 100 acres (40 hectares) of dry brush, said Daniel Bertucelli, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

“This fire behavior is not typical of a fire in March,” Bertrucelli said on Twitter.

The cause is under investigation.

The National Weather Service issued wind advisories for some of Southern California’s mountains and deserts amid warm temperatures and dry conditions.