An 18,000 acre brush fire in Santa Barbara County is now officially contained, some three months after it started.
The Whittier Fire began July 8th in the Santa Ynez Valley, just south of Highway 154 near Lake Cachuma. The fire burned over the top of the Santa Ynez Mountains, creating concern that the flames might move towards homes northwest of Goleta, although it never reached them. Highway 154 over San Marcos Pass was closed for days.
16 homes and 30 outbuildings were destroyed. Firefighters aided by a fleet of helicopters, and aircraft stopped the fire, with evacuation orders eased about a week into the blaze. But, fire crews have been dealing with scattered hot spots for the last few months.
The fire was finally declared 100% contained Thursday night. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.