Battle against Whittier Fire leads to evacuation order

Pauline Gross
July 16, 2017

A fast-moving brush fire in northern Santa Barbara County near Lake Cachuma prompted more evacuations as it grew to more than 13,000 acres Friday.

The fire burned mainly in areas above the marine layer, McMillan said.

Fire officials expect sundowner winds Saturday evening, which will make containment more hard, according to the L.A. Times.

The Alamo Fire, which charred some 29,000 acres and destroyed at least one home in San Luis Obispo County, was said to be 92 percent contained as of Saturday morning.

While the campers made it out safely, Circle V Ranch said critical infrastructure was destroyed during the fire and they would be closed for the remainder of the 2017 summer.

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The forecast is expected to continue to spur the fire's growth in the coming 24 hours, with wind gusts of up to 35 mph, temperatures in the mid-90s and low humidity.

High-pressure, dry air remained over the area Saturday, creating conditions for gusty and locally strong Sundowner winds that were predicted to possibly push the fire toward populated areas Saturday evening.

Almost 3,000 people who were forced to flee their homes near Cachuma Lake and the community of Goleta remained under evacuation orders as fire officials said another evening of Sundowners could drive the flames toward populated areas.

Currently, there are about 1,924 total personnel attacking the Whittier blaze, with 39 fire crews, 145 fire engines, 30 water tenders, four masticators, six fixed-wing aircraft, 14 helicopters and 18 bulldozers. The weather is supposed to cool down on Monday.

The cause of the Whittier fire remains under investigation. Evacuation warnings remain for Tepesquet Canyon residents only.

Other reports by GizPress

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