LOMPOC, Calif. – A fire that broke out Friday afternoon prompted evacuations near Vandenberg Village.
The Santa Lucia Fire, which sparked around 1:40 p.m., burned about 37 acres before forward progress was stopped around 3:30 p.m. The fire broke out near Santa Lucia Canyon Rd. and Klein Blvd.
The fire prompted emergency personnel to call for the evacuation of nearby homes in the area west of Highway 1 and south of Constellation Rd. in Vandenberg Village. Mandatory evacuations were lifted for South Vandenberg Village and USP staff housing Monday evening. County Fire said Santa Lucia Road would remain closed until 10 p.m. Friday night.
Firefighters battled the flames with the help of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters under the direction of the Lompoc Fire Department.
Santa Barbara County Public Information Officer Mike Eliason said the flames were moving at a slow rate of speed, however, the spread potential could be upwards of 500 acres to 1,000 acres as the fire was spotting in 17 mph winds.
By the time forward progress was stopped, the fire burned only 35 acres and was 0% contained. As of 4:30 p.m., the fire is 50% contained.
According to the California Highway Patrol online incident log, flames spread to the firing range at the nearby Federal Correctional Institution Lompoc.
At around 3 p.m., CHP called for the closure of Highway 1 near the area of the fire. By 4:30 p.m., the highway was reopened but traffic restrictions may remain in place for several hours.
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All mandatory evacuations were lifted by 5 p.m. The American Red Cross set up a temporary evacuation center at Cabrillo High School for those who have been displaced from the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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