Battle against Whittier Fire leads to evacuation order


Battle against Whittier Fire leads to evacuation order

Hundreds of people fled the area when the fire broke out July 6 off Highway 166 near Twitchell Reservoir in San Luis Obispo County.

UPDATE: 7/11/17 at 9:30 P.M.: CalFire has updated the containment figure to 65 percent, with the same amount of acreage burning - about 45 square miles.

It has destroyed eight homes and 12 outbuildings since it began on July 8, USA Today Network reported.

Highway 154 from Armour Ranch (west side) to Paradise Road (east side).

Calle Real north to West Camino Cielo from Winchester Canyon Road on the east to El Capitan Ranch Road on the west. The fire grew by almost 700 acres overnight.

Current Situation: The fire is creeping downslope on the southern, eastern and western perimeters of the fire.

The fire burned mainly in areas above the marine layer, McMillan said.

On just the Whittier Fire alone, there are 1,612 firefighters assigned, including 103 fire engines, 38 hand-crews, 16 dozers, 14 helicopters, and 22 water tenders and 18 bulldozers. Temperatures near Santa Ynez peak are expected to reach 79. But fire crews are prepared if that should happen, officials said.

"Very dry and unstable conditions will support extreme fire behavior and rapid rates of spread", the service said.

Residents who need assistance returning large animals to their properties are requested to call the Santa Barbara County Animal Services hotline at 805.681.4332.

On the south side, pet owners with small animals that can be evacuated may be brought to the Santa Barbara Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Road, Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District has issued a health warning for smoke and ash for the entire county that will remain in effect through Monday.

For the latest information about the biggest wildfires burning in California, visit http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents and https://inciweb.nwcg.gov.

The fire is now 35% contained.

On Saturday, firefighters continued to make progress toward full containment of the blaze. Fire crews will remain in the area in the coming weeks, removing equipment. The cause remains under investigation.