Above: A camera on Santa Ynez Peak captured this image of the Whittier Fire at 11:11 a.m. PDT July 9, 2017.
(Originally published at 8:35 a.m. PDT July 9, 2017)
(Updated at 5:51 p.m. PDT July 9, 2017)
The Whittier Fire has been spreading very rapidly through very old, decadent, thick brush since it started at about 1:45 p.m. Saturday near Lake Cachuma six miles southeast of Santa Ynez in southern California.
Sunday morning’s National Situation Report said 20 structures have been destroyed, and the resources assigned include 7 hand crews, 32 engines, and 11 helicopters, for a total of 400 personnel. These numbers, probably assembled Saturday evening, may be a little behind the power curve for such as rapidly spreading wildfire.
The Southern California Geographic Area Coordination Center reported Sunday morning that it had burned 7,800 acres.
The weather forecast for the fire area is not extreme, by fire weather standards. It predicts, depending on the elevation and the proximity to the coast, temperatures in the high 80’s to low 90’s, humidities in the low 30’s, and south to southwest winds of about 7 mph gusting to 11.
This is one of two wildfires burning in Santa Barbara County. The other is the Alamo Fire about four miles east of Santa Maria.
According to Inciweb late Saturday night, mandatory Evacuation Orders have been issued for:
- Highway 154 from Armour Ranch Road on the west to Paradise Road on the east;
- W. Camino Cielo from the Winchester Gun Club east to Highway 154;
- Kinevan Road, and;
- Farren Road
Hwy 154 is closed from State Route 246 to Foothill Road.
Mark Von Tillow’s Type 1 Incident Management Team has been dispatched and should arrive at the fire Sunday.
All of the articles we have written about the fire are tagged “Whittier Fire” and can be found here, with the most recent at the top.