Shifting winds challenge crews fighting California fire

Shifting winds challenge crews fighting California fire


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Shifting winds posed new challenges for firefighters battling a blaze in Southern California coastal mountains that threatened ranches and rural homes and kept a major highway shut down for days.

The Alisal Fire charred more than 24 square miles of dense chaparral in the Santa Ynez Mountains west of Santa Barbara. Containment was just 5 percent Wednesday evening.

While the scenic region along the Pacific shoreline is lightly populated, the blaze was a threat to more than 100 homes, ranches and other buildings, fire officials said.

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Fire crews were protecting Rancho del Cielo, which was once owned by Ronald and Nancy Reagan and was known as the Western White House during his presidency. The 688-acre (278-hectare) ranch where Reagan

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