Summer-Like Conditions Are Fueling California Wildfire

The blaze north of Santa Barbara has forced as many as 6,000 people to evacuate homes and campsites. It's thought the fire began on Monday at a campsite in the Los Padres National Forest. So far, more than 1,000 acres have been burned. It may be a week before the fire is contained.

As they battle the White Fire north of Santa Barbara that in less than day has covered more than 1,000 acres, firefighters are contending with strong winds, low humidity, high temperatures and other dangerous conditions "like they'd normally see in August and September," our colleagues at Southern California Public Radio report.

The U.S. Forest Service says the fire's growth potential is "extreme." The Los Angeles Times adds that, "rough terrain plus fuel — chaparral, grass, brush and trees — [are] making the blaze unpredictable.

According to Southern California Public Radio, more than 560 firefighters are at the scene. Capt. David Sadecki of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department tells SCPR that 4,000 to 6,000 people were evacuated Monday from Paradise Canyon. At least 50 homes were said to be under immediate threat.

It's thought, the Times reports, that the fire "started near a campsite in the Los Padres National Forest at about 2:30 p.m. Monday."

As of Tuesday morning, the Forest Service was saying that the blaze was about 10 percent contained and wasn't expected to be brought under control until next Monday — if conditions permit.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.