UPDATE: Ash from Rey Fire likely to coat areas of Santa Barbara's South Coast

Aug 18, 2016

UPDATE: Monday, August 22, 2016 at 10:46 a.m.

The U.S. Forest Service said Monday morning that the Rey Fire had grown to 23,546 acres with 20 percent containment.

"Today, the fire is expected to continue to display extreme fire behavior due to dry vegetation and easily combustible fuels due to ongoing drought conditions," the incident update stated. "People can expect to see smoke and ashfall in Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Carpenteria for the next couple of days as the fire grows east/northeast towards the Dick Smith Wilderness."

As of Monday, the west side of the fire was holding. The south side was holding north of the Santa Ynez River and crews were expected to strengthen lines.

While not anticipated to be used, contingency lines were being constructed, including on the existing East Camino Cielo fuel break. As a result, East Camino Cielo Road will be closed.

The north side of the fire required significant line construction. This area has burned into the old Zaca burn area from 9 years ago.

UPDATE: Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 11:32 a.m.

Santa Barbara County's Rey Fire grew rapidly over the weekend from an estimated 2700 acres on Friday afternoon to 18,839 acres on Sunday morning with 10 percent containment.

The US Forest Service said Sunday that "firing" efforts to control spread in the southwest corner of the fire, north of the Santa Ynez River, were successful, and firefighters constructed a fireline on the southeast flank Saturday night into Sunday morning.

"The weather is forecasted to remain hot and dry through the weekend. Fire behavior is expected to be extreme with large plumes of smoke possible again today," the Forest Service said via a news release. "The east side of the fire has the most potential to spread."

The fire is burning in steep terrain burning primarily grass, brush and oak trees. Despite its size, officials said Sunday that there was little threat to structures and people. No structures had been lost to date according to the fire's incident management team.

The Rey Fire started on August 18 at White Rock Day Use Area along Paradise Road in the Los Padres National Forest.

An evacuation order was still in place on Sunday for the Paradise Road recreation areas, parts of Stagecoach Road adn the Los Prietos boys Camp.

Highway 154 was open to traffic.

The caused of the fire was still under investigation.

UPDATE: Friday, August 19, 2016 at 5:46 p.m.

The latest numbers from the Rey fire burning just over the mountain tops from Santa Barbara show the number of acres burned at 2700 Friday evening with 20 percent containment. Fire crews said the fire is expected to grow. 

Smoke from the fire was streaming over San Luis Obispo late Friday afternoon because of the wind direction, according to PG&E's John Lindsey.

The US Forest Service said the fire started yesterday afternoon around 3:15 off of Paradise Road, east of Lake Cachuma and Highway 154. The cause was still under investigation.

Highway 154 has been reopened but Paradise Road remained closed on Friday. No structures were under immediate threat. 

Paradise Road campgrounds, parts of Stagecoach Road and the Los Prietos Boys Camp are under evacuation.

Original Story:

The Central Coast's newest wildfire is burning in the mountains of Santa Barbara County, east of Lake Cachuma in the Los Padres National Forest.

It's called the Rey Fire and evacuations in the area were underway Thursday afternoon, according to Mike Eliason, spokesperson for Santa Barbara County Fire.

Structures were threatened and the fire was at 500 acres early Thursday evening.

It was hot and dry when the fire broke out. The National Weather Service said temperatures in the area were in the mid 90s, with wind gusts up to 18 mph.

Highway 154 was closed from Highway 246 near Santa Ynez to Highway 192 in Santa Barbara, according to Caltrans District 5. Highway 101 could serve as an alternate route depending on your destination.

A towering plume of smoke from the Rey Fire could be easily seen throughout much of southern Santa Barbara County.