Officials claimed that firefighters in California took advantage of a break in the high winds on Wednesday to drop retardant on a fast-moving wildfire using a plane. The fire was within a half mile of former President Ronald Reagan’s ranch.
According to Andrew Madsen, a spokesman for Los Padres National Forest, where the blaze is centred, a crew of roughly 1,500 firefighters has successfully steered the Alisal fire away from the Reagan ranch. Reagan ranch had been a venue for several events where the former US President hosted dignitaries like the Queen of England and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
He noted that fire fighters were also working to keep the fire away from a site of decommissioned Exxon Mobil in Las Flores Canyon. The company stated that they were closely monitoring the fire. There had been no injuries or damage to the facilities, which had been closed since 2015.
The fire started on Monday from about 32 kilometres northwest of Santa Barbara in a sparsely inhabited area of southern California. It has spread to 15,500 acres (6,272 hectares) and is contained only by 5 percent, Andrew Madsen said in a statement.
Madsen added that the firefighters had expected to take advantage of the absence of strong winds to worsen the situation but by evening too they had hardly made any progress in the condition.