Canyon Fire (Sept. 19, 2016)
Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department

The Canyon Fire burning on south Vandenberg Air Force Base has more than doubled in size yet again, growing from 4,500 acres on Monday to over 10,500 acres by Tuesday morning, base officials said. A total of 633 firefighters from federal, state, and local agencies are fighting the blaze, which is now 18 percent contained.

Most of the growth over the last 24 hours took place along the fire’s western and northern perimeters; firefighters made good progress to the south and east. “Despite the progress made yesterday, the fire remains significant and unpredictable,” base authorities said in a statement. South Base access has been closed, and security teams have established roadblocks along West Ocean Avenue to limit traffic and clear the way for emergency responders.

The Canyon Fire broke out Saturday afternoon in a remote canyon and spread quickly. Its cause remains under investigation. On Sunday, the blaze delayed the launch of an Atlas V rocket and its commercial satellite. Culturally significant Chumash sites, wildlife habitats, and watersheds are being threatened, base officials said. As of Tuesday morning, no structures had been damaged, but there have been power outages in several base buildings.

Smoke continues to impact much of the Central Coast, with onshore breezes expected to carry it further inland Tuesday afternoon.

A press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. today.


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