Southern California fire shuts highway, forces evacuations

Southern California fire shuts highway, forces evacuations

SOLVANG, Calif. — Evacuation orders were expanded Tuesday for a growing wildfire driven by intense winds that has shut down a key Southern California highway for more than a day.

At least 200 firefighters battled the Alisal Fire, which had scorched 21 square miles (54 square kilometers) along coastal Santa Barbara County and was only 5 percent contained, county fire officials said.

The fire erupted Monday on a ridge and blasted toward the ocean, forcing the closure of US 101, the only major highway on that section of the coast. Evacuation orders and warnings were in place for several areas of the lightly populated region.

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“The fire is burning in dense chaparral and is being pushed by strong winds and growing at a

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