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    This map shows where the Lake Fire is burning in Santa Barbara County
    • July 8, 2024

    The Lake Fire, burning in a rugged area of Santa Barbara County, has become the biggest wildfire of California’s season.

    As of Monday morning, the fire was at 20,320 acres (31.7 square miles) with 8% containment, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

    That surpassed Sites, which burned 19,195 acres last month in Colusa County.

    The Lake Fire’s evacuation order was expanded to about 50 square miles on Sunday evening.

    The map above shows the approximate fire perimeter as a black line and the evacuation zones in red. For more evacuation details and latest updates, see Santa Barbara County’s emergency map.

    The fire started around 4 p.m. Friday, July 5, near Zaca Lake, in Los Padres National Forest. Its cause is under investigation.

    The fire’s western edge was within a mile of the former Michael Jackson Neverland Ranch, as well as several prominent wineries in the Foxen Canyon area.

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    In 2007, the same area was burned by the Zaca Fire, which at that time was the second largest wildfire in California’s recorded history. It was started on July 4 by sparks from a grinding tool and wasn’t fully contained until Sept. 4; hot spots continued to burn until the last days of October. The final tally was 240,207 acres (375 square miles). Forty-three people were injured in the firefighting.

    So far this year, the state has had five wildfires over 10,000 acres. Last year at this time, its biggest fire was 1,560 acres; all four of the fires in 2023 over 10,000 acres started in August, according to CalFire records.

    ​ Orange County Register 

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