Wildfire rages across California, threatening the Reagan Ranch

The inferno spans more than 24 miles throughout the mountainous region west of Santa Barbara

Updated: October 14, 2021 - 8:01am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A massive wildfire continues to rage across California on Wednesday, forcing evacuations and the closing of the iconic coastal 101 highway.

The Alisal Fire erupted Monday evening and quickly spread due to dry conditions caused by the heavy winds known as Santa Anas. 

According to the Associated Press, the inferno spans more than 24 miles throughout the mountainous region west of Santa Barbara, in central California. Roughly1,300 firefighters are battling the blaze, which is just 5% contained.

Early on Wednesday, fire crews cut protective fire lines as the inferno inched closer to the famous historic landmark of Rancho del Cielo, which was owned by President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan during their time in the White House.

The world-renowned estate is still within the direct path of the fire, however, crews have been able to protect the “Western White House” from any damage. 

The operator of the  Reagan ranch, Jessica Jensen, issued a statement saying the fire is still really close, but the Ranch is still “in a very defensible position.”

Luckily the area the fire has burned through is sparsely populated. However, officials say the blaze still threatens at least 100 homes and buildings.

According to NPR, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has not declared a state of emergency, despite requests from Santa Barbara officials. 

The last time a fire swept through this part of California was in 1955.