As firefighters gear up for the possibility of strong sundowner winds which could impact the Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County, some new evacuation orders were issued midday Friday.
The evacuation orders have been issued for an area on the south side of the Whittier Fire. It includes all of Winchester Canyon Road excluding the community of Wagon Wheel, Langlo Ranch Road and Winchester Commons west to El Capitan Ranch Road.
Also, the order impacts Calle Real north to West Camino Cielo from Winchester Canyon Rd on the east to El Capitan Ranch Road on the west. Firefighters are moving additional equipment into the rural area because of concerns about potential sundowner winds Friday night.
Thursday night, a flareup of the blaze below Santa Ynez, and Broadcast Peaks was visible throughout the Goleta and Santa Barbara areas, prompting a flurry of 911 calls. However, the flames were more than two miles away from homes, and no new evacuations were ordered at that time.
The fire grew by a few hundred acres from Thursday into Friday, to about 13,200 acres. It's 52% contained. The fire burned 20 structures, including eight homes right after it started last Saturday, but no structures have been lost since then.
Meanwhile, the Alamo Fire northeast of Santa Maria is 90% contained, with around 29,000 acres of land charred.