Residents evacuated, at least one structure has burned

The Branch fire burning in the California Valley has grown to more than 1,500 acres and an evacuation center has been sent up for residents forced to leave their homes.

Cal Fire said at 4:25 p.m. the fire had burned 1,550 acres and for a time forced the closure of Highway 58.

The fire is burning in a southwesterly direction, in the area of Branch Mountain Road and Belmont Trail.

Residents living on Belmont Trail between Soda Lake Road and Branch Mountain Road are being evacuated, according to Cal Fire and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff. One structure has burned, the SLO Sheriff said.
There are unconfirmed reports from the scene that as many as two structures and 10 outbuildings have burned. Several others are threatened.

An evacuation center is being set up at the California Valley Community Services District at 13080 Soda Lake Road.