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Fire in Santa Barbara County 50% Contained

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A fire that broke out near Vandenburg Air Force Base has burned through some 300 acres and was 50 percent contained this evening, according to the Associated Press. The Lompoc-area base, about 60 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, employs up to 10,000 people on any given day. 25 buildings with non-essential personnel were sent home early.

The blaze began around noon when a transformer blew near the base's main gate along the Pacific Coast Highway. Power lines were reported down, prompting electricity outages.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of the Southland, including portions Santa Barbara County. 20 to 30 mile per hour winds with gusts up to 50 miles per hour are expected through tomorrow morning. Humidity is expected to fall to 15 percent.