Surging wildfire forces evacuations in California

Wildfire surged to 500 acres, 20 mph winds

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) -- A surging wildfire has forced dozens of residents and Memorial Day campers to evacuate the mountains of Santa Barbara County in California.

The U.S. Forest Service says the fire broke out about 2:45 Monday in Los Padres National Forest about 15 miles north of Santa Barbara and quickly surged to 500 acres amid winds of about 20 mph.

Firefighters are scrambling to catch up with the blaze with help from four water-dropping planes and two helicopters.

The Forest Service says Paradise Road and the many campgrounds along it have been evacuated and closed.

The county's Office of Emergency Services tells the Santa Maria Times that 50 to 75 residents have evacuated.

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