The 13,400-acre blaze, burning 20 miles northwest of Santa Barbara in Refugio Canyon, was 5% contained on Tuesday night.
The blaze grew rapidly after igniting sparks on Monday, officials said. The cause is unknown.
“The main constraint was the high winds which limited secure access to extinguish the fire and limited the use of planes to initiate and support the extinction of the fires,” the update said.
More than 765 firefighters are battling the blaze as they attempt to mitigate the threat to Highway 101, which is closed in both north and south directions.
Meanwhile, 20 counties in California were warned by utility company PG&E that they could see a public safety power outage (PSPS) on Thursday in response to weather conditions that could fuel another wildfire. The counties under alert are: Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Glenn, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Napa, Plumas, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba.
Thousands under air quality monitoring
The Santa Barbara Public Health Department and air pollution control officials on Tuesday released air quality monitoring due to smoke from the Alisal fire.
“This is a dynamic situation and local air quality conditions can change quickly.”
Smoke from the blaze can be seen throughout the southern part of the county, including the Santa Ynez Valley and along the Gaviota coast, fire officials said on InciWeb.
In particular, people with heart or lung problems, the elderly, pregnant people and children should not spend too much time outdoors and limit outdoor exercise to avoid inhaling smoke and particles. in the air, health officials said.