California Wildfire Threatens Iconic Reagan Ranch

February 1985: A full-length portrait of United States president Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan, who is sitting on the hood of a red 1985 Ford Ranger pick-up truck with her arms around her husband, at their ranch (Rancho del Cielo) near Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty …
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Alisal fire in Santa Barbara County, California, is threatening the ranch once owned by late President Ronald Reagan, and firefighters are working to save the “Western Whitehouse.”

The 688-acre ranch, dubbed Rancho del Cielo, served at a vacation home for Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan during his time as president.

“The fire was several miles from the ranch, which has good defensible space, and several USFS engines were arriving to provide structure protection,” Santa Barbara County Fire public information officer Mike Eliason wrote on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.

Deadline reported on the development:

The Reagans bought the ranch in 1974, as his term as governor was ending. It served as a western White House during his presidency, hosting a number of world leaders. The property was sold to the conservative Young America’s Foundation in 1998.

“YAF leadership is working with Congressional allies and other leaders who are their offering support in acquiring resources to help fight this fire,” the foundation said in a statement, adding that there were several fire engines on the property and fire retardant was being sprayed around the structures. The foundation also was working to provide access to emergency crews to two lakes at the ranch that contain more than one million gallons of water.

1st March 1983: US president Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan welcome Queen Elizabeth II to their ranch at Rancho Del Cielo, California. Prince Philip accompanied the Queen on her visit. (Photo by Ronald Reagan Library/Getty Images)

March 1, 1983: US president Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan welcome Queen Elizabeth II to their ranch at Rancho Del Cielo, California. Prince Philip accompanied the Queen on her visit. (Photo by Ronald Reagan Library/Getty Images)

Scott Walker, former governor of Wisconsin and president of the foundation, said his organization has “taken the necessary steps, as much as a property owner can do, to shield Rancho del Cielo from this very threat. I have confidence our team and the emergency crews will do everything they can to protect Rancho del Cielo and the surrounding area.”

26th November 1981: US president Ronald Reagan lifts First Lady Nancy Reagan down from the saddle of her horse after riding at Rancho Del Cielo, California. She wears a cowboy hat strapped around her chin. (Photo by Ronald Reagan Library/Getty Images)

November 26, 1981: US president Ronald Reagan lifts First Lady Nancy Reagan down from the saddle of her horse after riding at Rancho Del Cielo, California. She wears a cowboy hat strapped around her chin. (Photo by Ronald Reagan Library/Getty Images)

The NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia reported on the fire:

A major highway in Southern California coastal mountains remained closed Wednesday and evacuation orders were in place as a growing wildfire chewed through dry vegetation in the region. More than 760 firefighters battled the Alisal Fire, which covered 21 square miles (54 square kilometers) along the south Santa Barbara County coast and was only 5 percent contained, county fire officials said.

The fire erupted Monday on a ridge and swept toward the ocean, forcing the closure of U.S. 101, the only major highway on that section of the coast. Evacuation orders and warnings were in place for ranches and several rural communities.

“While the area is lightly populated, the blaze burning in dense chaparral threatened more than 100 homes, ranches and other buildings,” the report concluded.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter or send news tips to pstarr@breitbart.com.

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