alamo fire

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

A brush fire which burned nearly 29,000 acres of land in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties has been fully contained.

The Alamo Fire started July 6th northeast of Santa Maria, near Twitchell Reservoir. The fire closed Highway 166 between Santa Maria, and New Cuyama for days, destroying a home, and damaging a building in the process.

While the fire has been contained, some firefighters will remain in the area for the next few weeks patrolling for potential hot spots. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Firefighters say they now hope to have total containment of the Whittier brush fire south of Lake Cachuma by the end of the month.

Containment is now up to 75% on the blaze, which has charred more than 18,000 acres of land. Ground crews are trying to build fire lines in areas they can reach, while an aerial armada of 16 helicopters is focused on remote spots.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters have been making a lot of progress against Santa Barbara County’s Whittier brush fire, but they say it’s still too soon to predict when they’ll have full control over it.

The blaze has burned more than 18,000 acres of land south of Lake Cachuma, and is 49% contained.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

An eight day closure of Highway 154 due to the Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County ended late Sunday afternoon, with the reopening of the highway.

The highway had been closed from Santa Barbara to Highway 154 initially by the blaze itself, and later because of falling rock and downed trees. Crews have been busy for the last week removing debris and repairing damaged utility lines.

The fire was still officially at just over 18,000 acres burned, and 36% contained as of early Sunday evening.  Later in the evening, containment was upgraded to 49%.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Firefighters are trying to get a handle on the Whittier Fire burning in the Santa Ynez Mountains of Santa Barbara County that has grown to more than 18,000 acres. It's still only 36% contained.  

California Fire officials say they expect increased fire activity Sunday due to warmer temperatures, lower humidity and winds.

However, firefighters did get a break with the weather overnight from Saturday into Sunday when potentially strong sundowner winds in the forecast didn’t materialize. 

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters are closing in on full containment of the Alamo brush fire, which has been burning out of control northeast of Santa Maria since July 6th.

The 29,000 acre blaze is now 92% contained.  One structure has been destroyed, and a second damaged by the fire.  The fire started near Twitchell Reservoir, burning in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters battling the Whittier brush fire, in the Santa Ynez Mountains are keeping a close eye on the weather today, with the potential for sundowner winds in the forecast for Friday night.

Thursday night, a flareup of the blaze below Santa Ynez, and Broadcast Peaks on the south side of the blaze created concern for some Goleta and Santa Barbara residents, who could see the line of flames. There was a flood of 911 calls during the flareup, which last for about four hours. Fire officials say despite the ominous look of the fire, it was miles away from the closest homes. No new evacuation orders were issued, and the flareup subsided just after one Friday morning.

More than three thousand firefighters continue to work to try to contain two massive brush fires burning in Santa Barbara County.

The Alamo Fire, which started July 6th near Twitchell Reservior northeast of Santa Maria, is 85% contained as of 6y p.m. Thursday, with about 29,000 acres of land burned.  All mandatory evacuation orders were lifted Wednesday, but access to the area is still restricted to residents only.  Highway 166 remains closed.

The Whittier Fire south of Lake Cachuma has now burned more than 12,000 acres of land, and stands at 48% containment, the same level it was at Wednesday.  Highway 154 remains closed from Santa Barbara to Highway 246.

Firefighters on both the Whittier and Alamo fires say while they appreciate efforts by community members to donate food and other items to them, they have ample supplies.

They say if you want to help, you should contact relief groups like the American Red Cross, or your community food bank.

They also caution people about contributing to GoFundMe efforts unless they verify them first, because unfortunately people do try to take advantage of the goodwill of others during emergencies.

Wednesday has been another big day of progress for the three thousand firefighters trying to control a pair of brush fires in Santa Barbara County.

Containment is up to 65% on the Alamo Fire, the 29,000 acre blaze burning northeast of Santa Maria. And, firefighters say they have 48% containment of the Whittier Fire, the nearly 12,000 acre fire south of Lake Cachuma in the Santa Ynez Mountains.

A flareup put up a big cloud of smoke which caught many people’s attention Tuesday, but when the day was done, firefighters continued to move toward containment of the Whittier brush fire in the Santa Ynez Mountains.

The fire went from 25% to 48% containment, with the acreage growing by a few hundred acres, from 10,800 to nearly 11,300. A combination of milder weather conditions, and added resources like additional helicopters helped.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters battling the two major brush fires burning in Santa Barbara County say its been a good day Tuesday, with cooler weather allowing them to make new inroads on both the Alamo, and Whittier Fires.

The 29,000 acre Alamo Fire northeast of Santa Maria is now 45% contained. The 10,800 acre Whittier Fire, south of Lake Cachuma in the Santa Ynez Mountains is 25% contained. On the Whittier Fire, the end of the extreme fire conditions has made it safer for hand crews to get into more areas to build fire lines.

Maps show the latest on the Whittier Fire in Santa Barbara County, as well as the proximity of the Whittier Brush Fire to the Alamo Brush Fire.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters say they've reached 45% containment as of Tuesday morning on the Alamo brush fire in Santa Barbara County, up from 20% Monday night.

The fire has burned about 29,000 acres of bush northeast of Santa Maria, near Twitchell Reservoir.  The fire's size remained virtually the same overnight Monday into Tuesday.  One structure has been destroyed.  The fire has been burning since last Thursday, which much of the fire in rugged, hard to get to terrain. 

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters made major progress on Monday in their efforts to contain a pair of huge brush fires in Santa Barbara County.

They were able to prevent new growth with the Whittier Fire, which is burning in the Santa Ynez Mountains south of Lake Cachuma.  The amount of acreage burned remained at just over 10,800 acres, while containment went from 5% to 25%.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

It’s been a tough two days for Emma Bahsahbay.

The Winchester Canyon resident sums up her experience with the Whittier brush fire, which is burning in the mountains above her home, with an emotional two words: “I’m scared.”

Bahsahbay has lived in the rural canyon west of Goleta for three decades. On Saturday night, she looked out of the front yard of her home to see flames trying to work their way over the mountains from the blaze which started near Lake Cachuma.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

The two major brush fires burning in Santa Barbara County continued to grow from Sunday to Monday, but there are no additional evacuation areas.

The Whittier Fire, which is mainly burning in the Santa Ynez Valley south of Lake Cachuma, went from 7800 to around 10,800 acres, with 5 % containment. 

The Alamo Fire, in the mountains northeast of Santa Maria grew from around 24,000 to 29,000 acres, with 15% containment.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

An estimated 3700 people have been evacuated in Santa Barbara County as a result of the two major brush fires burning in the region. 

The Whittier Fire, which started near Lake Cachuma Saturday afternoon, has burned about 7800 acres of land, and led to 3500 evacuations.

The fire prompted mandatory evacuations at Lake Cachuma, for the area from Armour Ranch Road to Paradise Road, for West Camino Cielo from the Winchester Gun Club east to Highway 154, and for the Farren Road area west of Winchester Canyon.

An evacuation warning was issued for Las Varas Canyon east to Winchester Canyon, and from Highway 101 north to West Camino Cielo.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Two wildfires are continuing to burn on the Central Coast as hundreds of people evacuate.

The Whittier Fire, which is burning in the Santa Ynez Valley, has grown to 7,800 acres. It’s only 5% contained. Firefighters are especially concerned because it’s near hundreds of homes. Santa Barbara County Fire officials say some structures have been destroyed, but it’s not clear if any of those were homes. Mandatory evacuations were issued for homes as well as campgrounds. The brush fire broke out Saturday afternoon off of Highway 154, about 12 miles east of Solvang.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

A brush fire in the Santa Ynez Valley which trapped some kids at a summer camp, and forced some evacuations has grown to more than 5,400 acres.

What's called the Whittier Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. Saturday off of Highway 154 about 12 miles east of Solvang. The fire prompted mandatory evacuations at Lake Cachuma, and for the area from Armour Ranch Road to Paradise Road.

About 80 kids and staff members were trapped at the Circle V ranch when flames on both sides of Highway 154 made it unsafe to evacuate them.  Los Padres National Forest firefighters were on hand to protect them as they sheltered in place at the camp.  They were safely evacuated before sunset.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters on the Central Coast have their hands full with two major brush fires burning in Santa Barbara County, both which have forced evacuations.

What's called the Whittier Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. Saturday off of Highway 154 in the Santa Ynez Valley, about 12 miles east of Solvang.  The 500 plus acre fire has prompted mandatory evacuations at Lake Cachuma, and for the area from Armour Ranch Road to Paradise Road.  There's an evacuation warning in place from Paradise Road to the top of San Marcos Pass. 

Some structures have been reported destroyed at Camp Whittier, just south of Highway 154, near the area where the fire started.  Highway 154 is closed from Highway 246 to Santa Barbara.

Meanwhile, the Alamo Fire northeast of Santa Maria has grown to 19,000 acres burned. 

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

A brush fire burning in two counties on the Central Coast has nearly doubled in size overnight to 6,000 acres.

Cal Fire officials say more than 1,000 firefighters are battling the Alamo Fire, which is located around the Santa Barbara County-San Luis Obispo County line near Highway 166 and Twitchell Reservoir. Five helicopters are dropping water and four fixed-wing aircraft are dropping retardent in an effort to contain the fire.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara)

A brush fire burning in two counties on the Central Coast has grown to more than 3,000 acres in size.

The Alamo Fire is burning around the Santa Barbara County-San Luis Obispo County line close to Twitchell Reservoir.

Hot weather contributed to a flareup in a brush fire burning on the Central Coast.

The Alamo Fire has now charred about 250 acres of land near the Santa Barbara County-San Luis Obispo County line close to Twitchell Reservoir.

The fire began Thursday afternoon, and firefighters aided by air tankers stopped the spread of the flames by around sunset Thursday night. But, extreme heat contributed to a flareup Friday morning.