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Fire near Nacimiento Lake grows to 1,450 acres, 10 percent contained

Wildfire near Lake Nacimiento forces evacuations

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Update 9:30 a.m.

The Chimney Fire, a wildfire burning near Nacimiento Lake, has reached 1,450 acres and is 10 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.

An inversion layer blanketed the fire about 1 a.m. Sunday morning, slowing its growth. Fire crews were able to protect homes and gain control lines.

The inversion layer is lifting to reveal more fires, Cal Fire said. The weather in the area is expected to reach 95 degrees with slightly higher humidity. The vegetation, largely grass and drought-stressed oak woodland, is susceptible to fire.

Cal Fire San Luis Obispo has sought more help to fight the fire.

No buildings have been damaged; 100 structures are threatened by the fire.

Update 10:30 p.m.

A wildfire near Nacimiento Lake in northern San Luis Obispo County had burned 850 acres with zero percent containment as of 10:30 p.m Saturday, according to Cal Fire.

More than 100 firefighting personnel were still attacking the blaze — known as the Chimney Fire — late into the evening. Additional resources from other California cities including Fresno and San Diego were en route, Cal Fire said.

The fire started about 4 p.m. and was burning in the area of Gage Irving Road, according to Cal Fire.

A shelter for evacuees opened in Paso Robles at Flamson Middle School, at 2405 Spring St., according to the San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services.

There are two evacuation zones near the fire, said Tony Cipolla, SLO County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

“Zone 1” encompasses Running Deer Ranch, including Tri-County and Cal Shasta, which are off Gage Irving Road north of Cow Camp Loop, Cipolla said.

Cipolla said the fire isolated this zone, and residents there were told via reverse 911 calls to shelter in place. Fire crews were working to get Sheriff’s deputies access to enter the area in case an evacuation is needed, Cipolla said.

He said residents there needed to be alert if an immediate evacuation was called.

The second area, “Zone 2,” includes Running Deer Ranch with access to Gage Irving Road from Aluffo Road and south to Running Deer Road, Cipolla said.

Cipolla said the evacuations for “Zone 2” had been completed.

The cause of the firing is under investigation. No injuries have been reported.

Original story

A growing North County wildfire Saturday evening scorched hundreds of acres and prompted residents southwest of Nacimiento Lake to evacuate the area.

The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office assisted with evacuations around Running Deer Ranch. Evacuees were sent to a site near High Meadow Road and Bobcat Lane, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Flames had scorched 800 acres of dry land as of 8:30 p.m., according to Cal Fire.

About 8:45 p.m., a Red Cross shelter opened in Paso Robles at Flamson Middle School, at 2405 Spring St., for residents whose homes are in the fire area, the San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services announced on Twitter.

Blocked roads will prevent residents sent to the evacuation site near High Meadow Road from accessing the shelter in Paso Robles until a safe route is established, Scotto said.

According to a tweet from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, 135 residences have been evacuated.

County roads leading to the fire, called the Chimney Fire, remain closed near the intersection of Chimney Rock Road and Nacimiento Lake Drive, according to a CHP Traffic Incident Information Page. Running Deer Road is also inaccessible.

Crews first responded around 4 p.m. to a blaze near Running Deer and Chimney Rock roads.

Check back for updates on this continuing story.

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseyholden27

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