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Brush fire burning near Santa Margarita Lake — ‘We’ve got a big one’

A plane flies over the Margarita Fire at Santa Margarita Lake and West Pozo Road in San Luis Obispo County on Sunday, September 3, 2017.
A plane flies over the Margarita Fire at Santa Margarita Lake and West Pozo Road in San Luis Obispo County on Sunday, September 3, 2017.

Update Monday, 9 a.m.

The Margarita Fire has burned 130 acres, and containment has grown to 20 percent. Pozo Road is closed from Riconada to River road. Residents are allowed in, but all others will be turned away, Cal Fire tweeted.

Update, 7:15 p.m.

As of 7:15 p.m., Cal Fire spokesman Chris Elms said the fire’s spread had slowed, in part because of the stormy weather, as firefighters from every agency in the county gathered to battle the blaze.

He said the fire was 10 percent contained.

Elms said 17 engines, three dozers and six air tankers were fighting the fire; four helicopters had been requested and would be flying once it was light enough in the morning, he added.

Three ranches in the immediate area had been evacuated as a precaution, but no structures had been damaged, Elms said. The KOA and Santa Margarita Lake campgrounds had not been evacuated but were under evacuation warnings, with Sheriff’s Office personnel in the area to help with any such operations.

“We’re going to be working through the night and into tomorrow,” Elms said, with crews doing “a lot of heavy mop-up in steep terrain; then we’ll see what we have in the morning.”

Update, 5:45 p.m.

West Pozo Road is closed at Las Pilitas Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Original story:

A brush fire that started burning near Santa Margarita Lake has already scorched between 50 and 100 acres, according to Cal Fire.

The fire was first reported just after 5 p.m. and is burning on Pozo Road near the southeast entrance of Santa Margarita Lake, according to Cal Fire spokesman Chris Elms.

“We’ve got a big one,” Elms said. According to traffic on the police scanner, the fire has the potential to grow to 2,000 acres.

Initial engines reported 50 to 100 acres of land burning, Elms said. Information on structure threats was not immediately available.

The fire comes as a blistering heat wave scorches California, smashing temperature records throughout the Central Coast and fueling wildfires throughout the state.

This story will be updated.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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