••• “Evacuations were ordered and Highway 101 was closed in both directions Monday due to a wind-whipped vegetation fire that had charred thousands of acres along the Gaviota Coast and in the Santa Ynez Mountains. As of midnight, what has been dubbed the Alisal Fire had blackened an estimated 3,900 acres, with 0% containment.” The evacuation zone is pictured at right; on Twitter, Santa Barbara County Fire’s Mike Eliason on Twitter reports that the fire has jumped the four lanes of Highway 101. (That’s his photo above.) —Noozhawk
••• There has been a rash of break-ins lately with thieves smashing the glass in a business’s front door or window. The latest is the Coach store on State Street. —John Palminteri
••• From a Los Padres ForestWatch press release on Edhat: “The Forest Service issued final approval of a controversial project to cut trees and clear chaparral across 755 acres on Pine Mountain in the Ventura County backcountry. The decision comes despite over 16,000 comments of opposition that forest officials received from tribal groups, elected officials, organizations, businesses, and the general public. The approval was issued using two loopholes that allow the Forest Service to bypass normal requirements to prepare an environmental assessment. Instead, officials only prepared a series of ‘specialist reports’ that were not made available to the public until today and did not evaluate any alternatives or mitigation measures that would reduce or avoid damage caused by the devegetation project. The loopholes also allow the agency to move forward without offering any formal public objection or appeal opportunity to address concerns.”
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