Rey Fire in Santa Barbara County grows to nearly 19,000 acres

A tanker makes a drop on the Rey Fire Saturday afternoon.
A tanker makes a drop on the Rey Fire Saturday afternoon. Noozhawk.com

Authorities were expecting more hot and dry conditions Sunday, but not as much wind, as they battled to gain the upper hand on the Rey Fire burning in the Santa Barbara backcountry.

The fire continued to expand overnight, growing to an estimated 18,839 acres by Sunday morning, according to Mike Eliason, a Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman.

Containment remained at 10 percent.

The Rey Fire ignited Thursday afternoon on Paradise Road off Highway 154 east of Lake Cachuma and has been burning in Los Padres National Forest land.

Eliason said there is no immediate danger to populated areas or structures. About 770 fire personnel have been deployed to the blaze, with more on the way.

The cause of the Rey Fire has not been determined, but authorities say flames were discovered about 3 p.m. Thursday, not long after a fallen tree limb downed power lines along Paradise Road near Rancho San Fernando Rey and the White Rock Picnic Area.

Residents and campers along Paradise Road were evacuated shortly after the fire started and the mandatory evacuation remains in effect Sunday for Paradise Road recreation areas, parts of Stagecoach Road and the Los Prietos Boys Camp.

Tom Bolton is executive editor for Noozhawk, a Santa Barbara-based news website. He can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com.