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

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.

Officials with a South Coast city say they are keeping a promise they made to voters who passed a half-cent sales tax, by committing to keep a once-closed fire station open for the next two decades.

This week, the Ventura City Council committed to fully staff the city’s Fire Station Four, on Telegraph Road for the next 25 years.

In 2010, city budget issues prompted the shutdown of the station.

The city later received federal grants to help reopen it.

A supervisor for a company which handles hazardous wastewater in Ventura County entered a guilty plea over charges stemming from an explosion at the facility.

Ventura County prosecutors say Kenneth Douglas failed to warn employees about dangerous chemicals at the Santa Clara Waste Water Company plant near Santa Paula. They say the Ventura man also tried to impede the investigation after the November, 2014 blast, by moving some chemicals to another site.

As part of the Whittier fire evacuation on Monday, a number of youth offenders were being moved from the upper Santa Ynez Valley Los Prietos boys' camp.

At State and Highway 154 in Santa Barbara, four youths jumped out of one van and two youths escaped another van.

(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.

One of the most exciting players to come out of UC Santa Barbara, Alan Williams, is going to play for the Phoenix Suns on a regular basis.

The three year deal with the NBA team was reportedly for $17 million.

(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.

An increased effort to determine who is growing marijuana, where they are growing it, and how much land is being used for that has revealed a fast-moving trend.

The California Highway Patrol is asking for assistance in the investigation of a car crash that claimed the lives of two Ventura teens.

The crash happened last Monday night on Gibraltar road above Santa Barbara at about 9:30 pm.

Santa Barbara County prosecutors say a man who operated a statewide fire inspection scam which bilked more than 1200 victims out of more than $500,000 has been sentenced to seven years in state prison.

Robert Musich entered guilty pleas to 14 felony counts ranging from grand theft to forgery.

The West Covina man operated a business called Red Mountain Security and Fire Protection.

Red Mountain would bill businesses for fire equipment inspections which never took place, and the businesses would often automatically pay the invoices, thinking they were legitimate.

A fire near Carpinteria Tuesday morning damaged a home, while two dogs on the property were rescued.

The home near Toro Canyon was empty at the time, when housekeepers found the fire and called 911.

A vehicle with five people inside crashed over the side of a windy hillside road Monday night, killing two passengers and injuring three others.

The crash took place at around 9:30 on Gibraltar Road above Santa Barbara.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause.

There are ways to make your home more energy efficient. You can learn all about it at a workshop this week on the Central Coast. 

Santa Barbara County has a program called emPower that focuses on helping single-family homeowners achieve energy efficiency. Ashley Watkins with emPower says there are a lot of things you can do.

Tickets went on sale Friday for a Central Coast appearance for perhaps the biggest name in modern country music, and sold out in 30 seconds.

Garth Brooks is set to play at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles July 27th, with the nearly 15,000 tickets gone in moments. Brooks was overwhelmed by the fan response to his concern, and on Twitter said “Wow-30 seconds. Are you kidding me? That means I owe you another one!”

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