Barbara firefighters work the crest of a ridge after a
wildfire burned the hill west of Goleta, Calif.,
Friday, June 17, 2016. Stoked by winds, a wildfire
burning west of Santa Barbara roared down mountain
slopes toward the Pacific Ocean, shutting down
California's major coastal highway and forcing a group
of firefighters to seek shelter behind a fire engine
as flames licked at them.
— Firefighters battling home-threatening wildfires in the
West caught a break overnight as gusty winds died down but
with the region bracing for sweltering heat, Saturday's
respite could be brief, authorities said.
four-day-old fire in California coastal canyons was 45
percent contained after 40-mph "sundowner" winds
failed to materialize.
evening and night gusts had driven the flames through steep,
brushy canyons west of Santa Barbara on previous nights and
forced closure of a major highway.
have burned, but about 270 homes and ranches are at risk and
campgrounds are evacuated with flames only 2 miles from more
densely populated coastal communities.
Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez directed the New Mexico
National Guard to assist in securing communities affected by
a massive wildfire in the central part of the state.
Guardsmen will be patrolling and protecting evacuated homes
from possible looting. They also will be called on to help
with potential flooding.
drop of the Sherpa Fire in Santa Barbara County,
Calif., Friday, June 17, 2016.
took advantage of cooler weather overnight to reinforce
holding lines around a blaze that has destroyed two dozen
homes. Fire lines were strengthened on the western and
southern boundaries of a blaze that erupted in the Manzano
Mountains south of Albuquerque.
erratic light winds were possible during the day, which
could drive embers and start new spot fires, the U.S. Forest
has burned more than 27 square miles about 6 miles northwest
of Tajique since Tuesday and spread a pall of smoke as far
as Denver. The damage includes 24 homes and nearly as many
structures near the small community of Chilili.
a fire southwest of Show Low was 30 percent contained.
Firefighters beefed up containment areas on the northern and
western sides of the blaze.
orders remain in effect for the community of Forestdale.
has burned nearly 19 square miles since Wednesday.
Utah also made gains against three wildfires in the southern
part of the state.
wildfire near Cedar City was 30 percent contained, but the
blaze still threatened 20 structures including homes and
1,200 firefighters attacked the California fire, which has
engulfed nearly 12 square miles of mountain and agricultural
lands. Overnight, crews nailed down lines on the fire's west
side, which hadn't moved for days, Santa Barbara County fire
Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.
watch as a helicopter makes a water drop over a
wildfire near Santa Barbara, Calif., on Friday, June
17, 2016. The latest size estimate Friday morning is
nearly three times the previous acreage, with just 5
percent containment. The fire has been stoked by the
region's afternoon and evening "Sundowner"
winds, which blast down the face of the Santa Ynez
Mountains toward the Pacific Ocean.
the eastern side of the blaze was uncontrolled and virtually
straight up and down...we can't put bulldozers in
there," Zaniboni said.
relying on aircraft water drops and on cutting firebreaks
ahead of the flames. They hoped to set backfires to stop the
spread, Zaniboni said.
had a deadline because "sundowner" winds gusting
to 50 mph were expected to return Saturday evening and that
could stir up the fire, Zaniboni said.
far from having a handle on it," he said.
fire dangers already were expected to worsen as a heat wave
will bring potentially record-shattering temperatures across