Caltrans repairing 101 as Alisal Fire grows to 15,400 acres

California Wildfires
Caltrans crews working hard to repair damaged guardrails of Highway 101 on Oct. 13, 2021 in order to get a portion that was closed due to the Alisal Fire reopened. Photo credit Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire via AP

A major coastal highway remained shut down Wednesday and residents scrambled to evacuate as a growing blaze fuel by howling winds significantly increased the already present risk of wildfires in Southern California.

Hundreds of firefighters are battling the 15,442-acre Alisal Fire, which covers more than 21 square miles along coastal Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara County fire officials said in a Wednesday update.