Firefighters reported more good news Wednesday morning for the Sherpa Fire, which at 89 percent contained burns a steady 7,969 acres. In the last 24 hours, reports Los Padres National Forest, the blaze has seen little growth as focus shifts toward extinguishing “hot spots” within its secure loop.
Only the northeast corner of the fire remains uncontained because of particularly steep terrain. Last night, containment jumped 19 percent — from 70 percent Tuesday — and estimated costs from $12.5 million to $15.8 million.
Evacuation warnings were lifted at 5 a.m. Wednesday for Las Llagas, Gato, Las Varas, Dos Pueblos, and Eagle canyons, as well as Calle Lippizana near the equestrian center. Mandatory evacuations, previously in place for Venadito and Las Flores canyons, were reduced to warnings at the same time.
Refugio Canyon, north of 1800 Refugio Road, and El Capitan Canyon, where on Thursday a small water treatment plant burned, remain closed to the public until Saturday, tentatively. Refugio State Beach reopens the same day, but El Capitan State Beach will be closed at least through July 15.
Wednesday morning’s fog is credited with aiding firefighting efforts. Today, hand crews focus on turning soil and digging out roots to stop smoldering embers in their tracks.