Southern California Wildfire Has Now Burned Nearly 27,000 Acres

July 9, 2024

A Southern California wildfire that grew to be the biggest of the year is now at nearly 27,000 acres.

The Lake Fire in Santa Barbara County erupted on Friday northeast of Los Olivos. An evacuation order was issued for an area near the Los Padres National Forest including the nearby 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch formerly owned by Michael Jackson.

The fire is 12% contained. Nearly 2,500 personnel, 189 engines, 62 dozers and 11 helicopters are assigned to the fire. One structure was reported damaged and three injuries were reported. The cause is under investigation.

“Overnight aviation resources with Santa Barbara County were able to make water drops to prevent the fire from making significant growth,” an update from CalFire states. “Fire activity continued in the overnight hours in the wilderness area on the east side of the fire footprint. It resulted in significant smoke and expanded evacuation orders for remote areas.”

The fire is one of a handful of large wildfires in the state.

A wildfire that broke out near Oroville last week during the state’s record-breaking heat wave destroyed 13 homes and more than a dozen other buildings, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Thompson Fire in Butte County grew to 3,789 acres before it was 100% contained on Monday.

The Basin Fire near Fresno, which started on June 26, has burned 14,027 acres and is 80% contained. The Shelly Fire in Siskiu is at 6,261 acres and is 0% contained, and the North Fire in Modoc is at 4,389 acres and is 50% contained.