California firefighters took advantage of a break in strong winds to lift planes into the air and drop flame retardants on the rapidly spreading fire, which is located about a kilometer from the ranch of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Approximately 1,500 firefighters have so far successfully managed to keep the Alisal fire out of Reagan’s ranch, said Andrew Madsen, a representative of the Los Padres National Forest, where the fire is located.
“A strong wind is expected tonight, and we are trying to do as much as possible by this time,” he added.
Reagan hosted such guests as former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and British Queen Elizabeth II at his ranch.
The fire, which began on Monday about 32 kilometers northwest of Santa Barbara in a sparsely populated corner of southern California, has spread to an area of 55 square kilometers and is only 5 percent localized.