whittier fire

A new interactive map will be released this week to show vulnerable areas on the South Coast following the recent mudflow disaster in Southern Santa Barbara County.

The office of emergency services is working on the updated data to show where another hard rain could cause possible flooding or property loss.

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

Investigators say a teenager driving a vehicle through tall grass accidentally triggered last summer’s destructive Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County.

It was a fire which raged out of control for weeks, threatening homes and prompting some evacuations. The blaze burned more than 18,000 acre of land and destroyed 16 homes.

A firefighter who helped get dozens of kids, and staff members at a summer camp to safety during a major brush fire in Santa Barbara County was thrust into the national spotlight by President Trump.

The firefighter was one of the guests hailed as a hero at last night’s State of the Union address in Washington, D.C.

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

A major brush fire on the Central and South Coasts is finally out, but it’s not the huge fire that’s been in the news for the past month.

It’s the Whittier Fire, which started July 8th near Lake Cachuma, in Santa Barbara County. The blaze destroyed 16 homes, and 30 other buildings as it burned south over the Santa Ynez Mountains to threaten homes on the coast.

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

An 18,000 acre brush fire in Santa Barbara County is now officially contained, some three months after it started.

Owners of a summer camp in the Santa Ynez Valley where a number of kids and staff members were trapped by last month’s massive Whittier brush fire say they will rebuild the damaged facility.

Two lodge buildings were destroyed, and the water system was heavily damaged as the blaze moved through the Circle V Ranch Camp. St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles had to cancel the remaining camps planned for this summer. All events through next May are being rescheduled.

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

It dropped from the headlines weeks ago, but some firefighters are still mopping up the Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County.

The 18,000 acre fire in the Santa Ynez Mountains south of Lake Cachuma started nearly a month ago, on July 8th. The fire destroyed 16 homes, and a number of other structures as it raged out of control during its first few days. Containment remains at 87%.

It’s hot, it’s sticky, and there’s concern than locally heavy showers, and thunderstorms could lead to some flash flooding on the South Coast.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for until at least 10 p.m. Wednesday for the Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo County mountains, as well as the Cuyama Valley.

There’s special concern for areas burned recently by the Alamo Fire northeast of Santa Maria, and the Whittier fire in the Santa Ynez mountains.

Santa Barbara County’s Whittier brush fire put up some visible smoke Thursday, but the more than two and a half week old blaze still remains at 87% containment.

Some plumes of smoke were visible coming from the Dos Pueblos Canyon area.

Containment Up To 87% On Whittier Brush Fire

Jul 23, 2017
(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters are continuing mopup operations on the 18,000 acre Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County, with no major new problems reported.

Containment is up to 87%, and there has been no significant growth in the fire for the last few days. The firefighting effort continues to be downsized, with nighttime firefighting operation ending over the weekend, and the number of personnel involved down to around 800.

Firefighters are hoping to get full containment of the fire in the next week.

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

Firefighters are continuing to close in on containment on the 18,000 plus acre Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County.

The blaze in the Santa Ynez mountains south of Lake Cachuma is now 83% contained, with crews still optimistic about full containment by the end of the month. The fire, which began July 8th, destroyed 16 homes, and 30 other structures. It closed most of Highway 154 for more than a week.

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

Firefighters are continuing to make big progress in efforts to stop the Whittier brush fire, which has been burning since July 8th in Santa Barbara County.

Containment is up to 78% on the 18,000 acre blaze, which has shown very little growth since last weekend.

More than 1200 firefighters are still involved in working on the fire, but that’s down from around 2,000 at the fire’s peak. Some have been shifted to other fires in the state, while others have returned home.

Firefighters have said they hope to have total containment by the end of the month.

The 18,000 acre Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County destroyed 16 homes, and 30 other structures.

Still, it threatened many times more buildings than that before firefighters stopped the flames.

One of the buildings in the path of the flames was a former stagecoach stop turned tavern which is more than 130 years old. The popular lunch, dinner and cocktails spot came through the inferno intact, and it just reopened Wednesday.

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)

Milder weather is helping fire crews to continue to move towards full containment of the Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County.

Containment is now up to 75% on the blaze, which has charred more than 18,000 acres of land. There’s been very little growth of the fire since Saturday.  The conditions have allowed firefighters to move in closer to areas of the fire which were once too dangerous to reach.

The fire started July 8th south of Lake Cachuma. 16 homes have been destroyed by the blaze. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

(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.

Crews from Pacific Gas and Electric are working to repair damaged power lines in areas hit by the Whittier Fire, south of Lake Cachuma.

(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 trying to control the Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County got a break with the weather overnight Saturday into Sunday, when potentially strong sundowner winds in the forecast didn’t materialize.

Flames were once again visible in the mountains northwest of Goleta, but weren’t as widespread as they were Friday night. The fire has burned just over 17,000 acres of land in, and around the Santa Ynez Mountains, and is 36% contained.

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

A new update on weather conditions for Saturday night says there’s still a possibility of sundowner winds overnight on the South Coast, but that they won’t be as strong as they were Friday night.

National Weather Service meteorologists say there could potentially be 30 to 35 mile an hour wind, but that it will be strongest east of the Whittier Fire, in San Marcos Pass and Montecito.

The fire has burned just over 17,000 acres of land in, and around the Santa Ynez Mountains.

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

There were once again some flareups with the Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County Friday night, but concerns that sundowner winds might blow the blaze into homes on the west side of Goleta didn’t materialize.

The fire went from a little over 13,000 acres to more than 17,000.  The growth dropped the blaze's containment from 52% to 35%.  But, firefighters kept the flames well away from homes.

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

Firefighters are being positioned on the south side of Santa Barbara County’s Whittier brush fire, to deal with potential sundowner winds in the forecast for Friday night.

The concern is that if the 25 to 40 mile an hour winds materialize, they could push the blaze down from the Santa Ynez Mountains to the hills northwest of Goleta.

(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.

(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.

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

The Whittier fire had a major flareup Thursday night with flames visible on the South Coast, but fire officials say it didn’t posing an immediate threat to homes.

The flames were slowly backing down Santa Ynez Peak, but were more than two miles from the closest homes.

Concerned people flooded 911 with telephone calls. Firefighters have been busy for the last few days creating fire lines at the base of the mountain on the South Coast side, to insure the fire wouldn't reach homes if it made it down the mountains.

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.

Officials have released the latest map as of Wednesday afternoon showing the boundaries, and evacuation areas for Santa Barbara County's Whittier brush fire

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.

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