Officials reported that California firefighters took control after a lull in high winds on Wednesday and managed to lift planes up in the air and drop retardant on an extremely quickly spreading wildfire that was less than a half-mile from former President Ronald Reagan’s property, Reuters reports.
According to Andrew Madsen, a spokesperson for the Los Padres National Forest, in which the fire is concentrated, a squad of approximately 1,500 firefighters has successfully steered the Alisal fire away from the Reagan farm, where the former U.S. president hosted Queen Elizabeth and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
He also mentioned that firefighters are attempting to keep the fire away from a closed Exxon Mobil plant in Las Flores Canyon. In a statement today, the firm said it was carefully watching the blaze and that no casualties or property damage had occurred at the sites, which have been closed since 2015.
The wildfire, which started approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Santa Barbara in a largely uninhabited area of southern California on Monday, has spread to 15,500 acres (6,272 hectares) and is just 5% controlled, according to Madsen.
Firefighters had planned to take advantage of the lack of strong winds to extend the control zone, but by nightfall, they had achieved little progress, according to Madsen.