By Subrat Patnaik
(Reuters) – Fire ripped through brush and woodland on hills above the Californian city of Santa Barbara early on Tuesday, forcing residents to leave their homes, authorities said.
The Santa Barbara County declared a local emergency at 10:30 p.m (0630 GMT) on Monday night, after a fire broke out in Los Padres National Forest at about 4:15 p.m.
The flames spread quickly to cover about 3,000 acres by the evening and have not yet been contained, Santa Barbara County said in a statement.
“An evacuation warning is being issued for the area north of Foothill Road and Ontare to Gibraltar Road,” the office said, referring to areas north of the city.
The blaze, dubbed the “cave fire”, started near East Camino Cielo and Painted Cave Road in the forest.
“The Cave Fire is advancing toward major population areas in the cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta,” the county said.
Firefighters from neighboring areas were rushing to Santa Barbara to help the local service control the blaze, authorities said.
(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Ed Osmond)