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100 homes evacuated in Santa Barbara County brush fire

October 17, 2012 | 10:35 am

About 100 homes were being evacuated in Santa Barbara County on Wednesday as a 15-acre brush fire burned in the mountains near Highway 154.

The Lookout fire broke out about 7:45 a.m. near the highway and Painted Cave Road, Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. David Sadecki said. Sheriff's deputies were going door to door to evacuate residents and a reverse 911 system was being used "to get some of those residents out," he said.

The fire burned through steep, rugged terrain, which made it difficult for firefighters to get near the blaze, Sadecki said. Several agencies from Santa Barbara County and the U.S. Forest Service were on hand, along with air tankers and helicopters.

Also complicating efforts were temperatures in the mid-80s and breezy conditions expected to intensify later in the day, Sadecki said.

The Painted Cave area was the site of a devastating arson fire in 1990 that killed a 37-year-old woman. That $250-million fire burned 427 homes and 11 other buildings in about two hours.

The cause of the Lookout fire was still under investigation.

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-- Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

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