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  13 Oct 2021, 17:28

California's Alisal Fire burns more than 13,000 acres 

  LOS ANGELES, Oct 13, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - California firefighters scrambled 
overnight Wednesday to battle a fast-moving blaze that has scorched more than 
13,400 acres and prompted evacuation orders since it started Monday, 
according to local authorities. 

  Burning in a dry, scrub-filled canyon about 20 miles (32 kilometers) 
northwest of Santa Barbara, the Alisal Fire is just five percent contained, 
according to the US Forest Service. 

  More than 765 firefighters have been assigned to the blaze, the latest in 
what has already been a devastating wildfire season.

   "The main constraint has been heavy winds that have limited safe access to 
suppress the fire and limited the use of aircraft to engage and support fire 
suppression," an incident report said. 

  The cause of the fire, which began near the Alisal Reservoir on Monday 
afternoon, remains under investigation, the state's fire agency Cal Fire 
said. 

  The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department issued evacuation orders for 
a 10-mile stretch between El Capitan Beach State Park and Arroyo Hondo 
Canyon, while a portion of the iconic Highway 101 was shut down and local 
railway lines suspended. 

  Alisal is the latest fire to burn California, which has been plagued by 
increasingly large-scale and record-breaking infernos. 

  By late July, the number of acres burned in California was up more than 250 
percent from 2020 -- itself the worst year of wildfires in the state's modern 
history. 

  Scientists say human activity, including the unchecked burning of fossil 
fuels, is warming the planet and changing weather patterns, making wildfires 
hotter, more intense and more destructive. 

  Along with other parts of the western United States, California has 
struggled under a years-long drought that has left swathes of the region's 
tinder dry. 
 

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