[UPDATE, July 8, 2017, 7:15 p.m.] The Alamo Fire blew across 19,000 acres as of mid-afternoon today, reported CalFire in San Luis Obispo. Extreme fire behavior was seen in the Blazing Saddles neighborhood, and about 200 homes are in the evacuation area: Blazing Saddles, Pine Canyon, Buckhorn Ridge, Tepusquet to Santa Maria Mesa Road, Colson and White Rock Road residents are being told by Santa Barbara’s sheriff to “Leave Now.”
[UPDATE: July 8, 11:30 a.m.]
Firefighters continued their all-night and all-day siege against the Alamo Fire, which doubled in size to about 6,000 acres, Captain Dave Zaniboni reported Saturday morning. About a thousand were on scene as strong, hot winds drove the fire further into Tepusquet Canyon. With mandatory evacuation orders in place for areas north of Santa Maria Mesa Road, engine companies moved their men and women into the dangerous job of structure defense for the approximately 100 homes in the area. Daytime temps have reached 100 degrees, and humidity sits at 16 percent in places. Five helicopters are dropping water on hot spots, and four fixed-wing aircraft are blanketing fire retardant ahead of the flames. The fire in Santa Barbara’s North County, mostly south of highway 166, is estimated to be about 10 percent contained.
Specific areas under mandatory evacuation orders are streets named Blazing Saddles, Buckhorn, White Rock, and Tepusquet (south of Blazing Saddles to Santa Maria Mesa Road), said Gina DePinto, spokesperson for Santa Barbara County. A shelter has been set up at Minami Community Center (300 Enos St., Santa Maria). No pets are accepted there; the Santa Maria Animal Center (548 Foster Rd.) will take them. The large-animal refuge at the Elks Rodeo (4040 Hwy. 101, Gate 3, Santa Maria) held six animals as of Friday. DePinto said to call County Animal Services at (805) 681-4332 before bringing an animal to either shelter.
[UPDATE] The evacuation warning has been upgraded to a mandatory evacuation order for Blazing Saddles and White Rock lanes, said Gina DePinto, spokesperson for Santa Barbara County. Tepusquet and Buckhorn regions remain on warning status. For further information, go to countyofsb.org, DePinto said, or see #AlamoFire on Twitter, call the 2-1-1 operator, or (800) 400-1572 outside the 805 area code.
A fire burning along the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County border blew into a 500-acre conflagration driven by winds at about 2 p.m. on Friday. Evacuation warnings have been made for several areas of Tepusquet Canyon and Buckhorn: Blazing Saddles Lane, White Rock Lane, Colson Canyon, and Tepusquet Road. They had been tweeted as mandatory evacuation orders, in error, originally.
The Alamo Fire began in SLO County around 5 p.m. on Thursday, and had been considered 10 percent contained at 175 acres by nightfall with the help of a very large retardant-dropping air tanker. Firefighters had been gaining ground on the fire until the winds kicked up Friday afternoon.
This report will be updated as information becomes available.