Wildfire Forces Evacuations at Vandenberg Air Force

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    NEWSLETTERS

    KSBY-TV

    A wildfire that burned 300 acres of dry brush at Vandenberg Air Force Base was 50 percent contained Wednesday, authorities Thursday.
        
    ``The forward movement of the fire has been stopped,'' said  Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. David Sadecki. ``We're not out of

    the woods yet, but we're making good progress.''     
    The fire, reported just before noon, was caused by a blown transformer near the base's main gate on Highway 1, according to an
    Air Force news release. Power lines were down and sporadic electricity outages were reported.
        
    Nonessential personnel in 25 base buildings were sent home shortly after the fire was reported.
        
    The western edge of the blaze was contained, Sadecki said. To the east, the fire was halted at Pine Canyon, about a mile and a
    half from homes in the town of Vandenberg Village. No structures  were threatened.
        
    Vandenberg fire crews were working with the Santa Barbara Count Fire Department to battle the blaze. At least 10 water-dropping
     aircraft were making runs over the fire.
        
    Crews were working to contain the fire ahead of hot, dry winds  expected after sundown.
        
    The base is about 60 miles northwest of Santa Barbara. As many as 10,000 people work on the base every weekday.