Cambria brush fire forces evacuations

Jul 19, 2017

UPDATE 7/19/17 8 A.M.: Firefighters extinguished the fire Tuesday night, with three acres burned. All streets are open. 

UPDATE 7/18/17 5 P.M.: Just before 5 p.m., evacuation orders were lifted and CalFire reported good progress made towards containment. 

A fire ignited early Tuesday afternoon in downtown Cambria, prompting San Luis Obispo County to issue evacuation orders for residences and businesses along Main Street and Bridge Street.

Ron Alsop of San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services said county sheriff deputies went door-to-door of the residences affected and told people to evacuate. The Sheriff's Office also conducted a reverse 9-1-1 call to inform residents and businesses of the evacuation.

Alsop said air tankers and helicopters dropped water on the fire from above, and no injuries were reported.

On the scene, KCBX News spoke to Commander Brian Hascall of the San Luis Obispo's Sheriff's Office.

"Around 1:25 p.m. we had a fire start up the hill, up from where Bridge Street runs into Main Street. We have evacuated all the residences and business on Bridge Street because that was the direction the fire was moving," Hascall said. 

Aaron Linn's family business is Linn's Fruit Basket and Linn's restaurant on Main Street, adjacent to where the fire started. He said he saw it, called 9-1-1, then hiked up a mountain bike trail behind his restaurant to get a better perspective. 

"I went up above the fire, and where then fire eventually burned...the flames started coming at me, so I took a little bit of a video and ran out of the forest back down, thinking that the fire would just follow me down, pretty much, because the wind was also coming up simultaneously," Linn said. "So I ran down to the restaurant again, and we started preparing to evacuate as I saw the sheriffs' arriving and closing down the rest of the street ...so I just made us ready for that, not knowing how quickly our fire services would be with us, and I'm thankful for their service."

CalFire is referring to this fire as the Bridge Fire. 

KCBX News will update this post as more information becomes available.