Update: Fire north of Santa Barbara grows to 2.8 square miles, 10 percent contained

Deepa Fernandes/KPCC

Update 2 p.m.: Firefighters are taking advantage of a lull in winds to try to gain ground against a forest fire in mountains north of Santa Barbara.

Elsewhere in Southern California, crews are chasing a new fire north of Los Angeles and are working to increase containment of a rural San Diego County blaze.

The Santa Barbara County blaze erupted Monday in Los Padres National Forest, carving its way through 2.8 square miles of dry chaparral, oak and pine. It was only 10 percent contained on Tuesday, and the forecast calls for wind gusts of up to 40 mph.

Santa Barbara County firefighters say more than 550 firefighters are on the line, supported by a dozen aircraft.

The fire prompted the evacuation of about 50 homes, but residents were expected to return Tuesday evening.

Previously: The White Fire north of Santa Barbara has grown to 1,800 acres Tuesday morning, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Firefighters are seeing conditions like they'd normally see in August and September, said Capt. David Sadecki with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

As of Tuesday morning, the Forest Service was saying the fire was about 10 percent contained and wasn't expected to be brought under control until next Monday — if conditions permit.

The U.S. Forest Service says the fire's growth potential is "extreme." The Los Angeles Times adds that, "rough terrain plus fuel — chaparral, grass, brush and trees — [are] making the blaze unpredictable."

There were 563 firefighting personnel working on the White Fire, and no injuries reported as of Tuesday morning.

The fire is burning about six miles north of Santa Barbara. Sadecki said that firefighters' concern Tuesday is trying to make sure the fire doesn't push south to Santa Barbara. It's currently burning to the east, away from structures and into a wilderness area, Sadecki said.

Between 4,000 and 6,000 people were evacuated yesterday from Paradise Canyon, Sadecki said, and those evacuations remain in place. Firefighters are talking with the local sheriff's department about possibly letting some evacuees return home, according to Sadecki.

Fifty homes are currently threatened, Sadecki said.

Firefighters expect conditions Tuesday similar to Monday, with winds at 15 to 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 miles per hour, a relative humidity of 25 percent and temperatures in the low 80s, Sadecki said.

It's thought, the Times reports, that the fire "started near a campsite in the Los Padres National Forest at about 2:30 p.m. Monday."

This story has been updated.