Above: A 3-D map of the Whittier Fire, looking west. The perimeter at 2:30 a.m. PDT on July 11 is shown in red. The white line was the perimeter 28 hours before.
(Originally published at 7:38 a.m. PDT July 11, 2017)
The Whittier Fire six miles northwest of Goleta, California showed moderate growth on Monday. The most active areas were the south side and the upper slopes on the east and west sides. The Incident Management Team has not changed the reported size yet and is still calling it 10,823 acres. The onshore breeze, higher humidity, and cooler temperatures worked in favor of the firefighters.
On Monday dozers worked the east flank from the Winchester Gun Club toward Hwy. 154. On the west side firefighters improved initial firelines and scouted for an area to complete the line up to Santa Ynez Ridge.
Retardant lines are temporarily holding the south line while the incident management team works with local ranchers and residents to determine the best location for a fire line north of Goleta.
Most of the area within the perimeter of the fire has not burned since the Refugio Fire in 1955. Over the last several years these fuels have been stressed by the exceptional drought conditions and a high percentage of the fuel bed is dead. The combination of old, dry fuels with a newly cured heavy grass crop contributed to the rapid growth of this fire.
A total of 842 firefighters are assigned, including 97 fire engines, 11 hand crews, 8 dozers, 8 helicopters, and 2 water tenders.
The 20 structures that burned during the early stages of the fire included 8 residences and 12 outbuildings.
The weather forecast for the north side of the fire today predicts mostly sunny skies, 84 degrees, 40 percent relative humidity, and 7 mph southwest winds gusting to 12. Similar conditions are expected to continue through Thursday.
The photo below makes me wonder if binoculars were available during the briefing.
— SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) July 11, 2017
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