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Cooler Weather Helps Firefighters Battling Alisal, KNP Complex Fires

SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA) — Cooler weather and some rainfall is helping firefighters in their battle to contain several wildfires across the state.

One of the most recent to erupt was the Alisal Fire in Santa Barbara County. The wind-whipped fire erupted a week ago and quickly shut down the 101 Freeway in the area. Fire officials say the Alisal Fire – which has scorched 17,254 acres -- is now 80% contained, thanks in part to noticeably cooler conditions and increasing humidity in the area.

All evacuation orders and warnings for the Alisal Fire have been canceled, but the county has issued a closure of the Santa Barbara Ranger district in the area surrounding the fire.

Further north, the KNP Complex Fire that has been ravaging Sequoia National Park and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park since Sept. 10 is now 55% contained. In another sign of progress against the fire, Kings Canyon National Park reopened Monday with reduced services.

In a briefing Sunday, Dennis Burns, a fire behavior analyst with the wildfire's incident management team, said that even if there is not a large amount of precipitation, the change in weather will assist in the firefight.

"What we're looking at is the relative humidity is going to come up significantly and probably stay that way most of the week," Burns said.

The KNP Complex Fire has burned more than 88,000 acres since it was sparked by lightning, and a number of ancient sequoia trees have been reported burned beyond recovery.

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