California wildfire swells, triggering more evacuations, power shutoffs

More than 1,300 California firefighters are working to contain the wind-driven blaze that triggered new evacuation orders and far-reaching power shut-offs, officials said.

The big picture: The Alisal Fire, which ignited near the Alisal Reservoir on Monday, now spans more than 15,000 acres and is only 5% contained, according to Inciweb, an inter-agency incident information site.

Strong northwest winds continue to push the fire’s flames, prompting a wind advisory for the area. On Wednesday, utility provider Pacific Gas & Electric alerted 16,000 customers to planned power shut-offs Thursday due to “fire weather,” the company said in a press release.PG&E shut off power Monday to approximately 25,000 customers in parts of 23 counties. Nearly all affected customers had their power restored Tuesday, PG&E said.Highway 101 near Santa Barbara has been closed since Monday.

Threat level: “This fire is a reminder that as summer winds down, our fire season ramps up,” Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann said.

California is currently experiencing 10 uncontained, active fires, including Alisal, per the National Interagency Fire Center.

Go deeper: California wildfire jumps major highway as blaze swells to 13,400 acres

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