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California Briefing / Santa Maria

Evacuations ordered in fire

August 12, 2009|Steve Chawkins

About a thousand firefighters are battling a blaze that has consumed more than 20,000 acres in a sparsely populated area 26 miles east of Santa Maria. The cause of the LaBrea fire, which started Saturday, is unknown.

Santa Barbara County officials Tuesday ordered the evacuation of 14 farms and ranches in the area. Fire had not swept through the area's dense chaparral in 87 years.

The blaze was about 10% contained, officials said.

-- Steve Chawkins

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