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The Cave Fire burns a hillside above houses in Santa Barbara on Nov. 26. Photo: Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images

A wind-driven wildfire burning north of Santa Barbara, California, forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes and threatened thousands more homes, AP reports.

What's happening: Santa Barbara County residents hope an approaching storm could help extinguish the flames of the Cave Fire, per AP, which notes 4,000 of the almost 5,500 evacuees were told Tuesday they could return home after authorities reduced the evacuation zone size. The blaze burned 4,300 acres and was 10% contained Tuesday evening, Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason tweeted.

  • No homes have been lost and no injuries reported from the wildfire, which was first reported on Monday afternoon in the Los Padres National Forest, Eliason said earlier Tuesday.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What they're saying: The National Weather Service forecast rain by late Tuesday. However, that anticipated low pressure system could pose hazards problems such as shifting winds to debris flows, firefighters were told, AP notes.

The big picture: A deluge on burned slopes east of Santa Barbara in Jan. 2018 resulted in debris flows that devastated the Montecito community, wrecking homes and killing 23 people.

  • Last month, a state of emergency was declared in California as a series of wildfires devastated communities both in the northern and southern regions of the state.
  • The Southern California Geographic Area Coordination Center warned in a report this month that the state could continue to endure wildfires through December.

Go deeper: In photos: Dramatic scenes from California's wildfires

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

7 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.