UPDATE: Evacuation orders lifted for Santa Margarita, Cuesta Fire enters rough wilderness terrain
A community meeting was scheduled Wednesday night at Santa Margarita Elementary School to answer questions related to the Cuesta Fire.
San Luis Obispo County CAL FIRE Chief Robert Lewin said Wednesday afternoon that the Santa Margarita and Miller Flats evacuation orders would be lifted at 5:00 p.m., allowing people to go home. Also, classes are scheduled to start up for the year at Santa Margarita Elementary School on Thursday morning, only one day behind schedule.
The California National Guard was called in on Wednesday to help with some of the mopping up efforts so that CAL FIRE and National Forest Service crews could head to more challenging areas where the fire is flaring up—primarily on the fire's southeastern flank heading into the Santa Lucia Wilderness.
Chief Robert Lewin said this is where the real trouble is now.
"That area is tough ground," said Lewin. "It's going to require a lot of resources and it's not going to go quick."
Lewin said his department is still looking into finding the person responsible for sparking the series of fires along the Cuesta Grade on Sunday night. Investigators believe a single car—either with a mechanical problem or dragging a chain—driving northbound along Highway 101 ignited the fires.
If negligence is found in the case, the person could be held responsible for the cost to fight the Cuesta Fire.
Containment was listed at 15 percent on Wednesday evening with an estimated 2500 acres charred.