February 23, 2018

Whittier fire in Los Padres National Forest consumes more than 18000 acres

17 July 2017, 01:30 | Taylor George

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The San Luis Obispo City Fire Dept. tweeted this aerial

CHP and other law enforcement agencies are patrolling the area to protect the safety of motorists and fire personnel working near the highway.

Highway 154 is closed from Highway 246 to Foothill Road. Known as the Whittier Fire, it started on July 8 near the Alamo Fire and has since prompted the evacuations of around 3,500 people.

In addition, mandatory evacuation orders for Paradise Road and Cachuma Village have been downgraded to evacuation warnings. Fire officials had prepared for severe "sundowner winds" Friday night but they turned out to be mostly mild, McMillan said. Tepusquay Canyon is under mandatory evacuation orders. The fire grew by almost 700 acres overnight. Meanwhile, the southwestern corner of the fire has burned into last year's Sherpa fire burn area and stalled due to lack of fuels.

More than 1,600 firefighters are battling the blaze, including 38 fire crews, six fixed-wing airplanes and 14 helicopters, officials said.

Santa Barbara County said in an emailed update, "the fire jumped Oak Canyon overnight, and crews will spend today protecting Tepusquet Canyon where there is a community of approximately 100 homes". Strong offshore winds could push the fire toward populated areas.

The American Red Cross is operating an evacuation center located at San Marcos High School, 4750 Hollister Goleta. The Santa Barbara Humane Society, 5399 Overpass Road in Santa Barbara, is also available to assist evacuees with small animals.

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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.

For the latest information about the biggest wildfires burning in California, visit and

Full containment is expected by July 22.

"Fire crews will remain throughout the fire perimeter in the coming weeks to provide fire suppression fix, remove firefighting equipment, mop up and patrol", Cal Fire SLO wrote in a Sunday statement.

The cause of the Whittier fire remains under investigation.

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times.

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