Above: 3-D map of the Whittier Fire current as of 10 p.m. PDT July 13, 2017. The red shaded areas had more intense heat than other locations.
(UPDATED at 9:18 p.m. PDT July 14, 2017)
Here is a map showing some of the expansion of the Whittier Fire that was detected by a satellite at 1:24 p.m. PDT on Friday July 14. It is likely that the fire continued growing after that time.
The weather forecast for Friday night indicates that the fire on the upper section of the south-facing slope below Santa Ynez Peak above the marine layer could remain active at least until sunrise. In that area the relative humidity will be in the low 20’s with a wind out of the northeast at 12 to 15 mph gusting at 18 to 23. There could be gusts above 30 mph from 10 to 11 p.m. Friday night.
On Saturday the winds will decrease during the day on that upper slope but pick up again after 6 p.m. with north-northwest winds of 23 mph gusting to 35.
(UPDATED at 3:48 p.m. PDT July 14, 2017)
The Whittier Fire has been extremely active on Friday, putting up large columns of smoke. Evacuations are in effect in several areas.
If you put the video below on full screen you’ll see a DC-10 making a retardant drop low on the slopes northwest of Goleta, CA.
— Fabiola Ramirez (@_FabRamirez) July 14, 2017
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) July 14, 2017
(Published at 10:20 a.m. PDT July 14, 2017)
Firefighters on the Whittier Fire northwest of Goleta, California have made some limited progress in constructing fireline around the blaze over the last two days. Approximately half of that task is done, but the remaining sections are in steep, difficult terrain. A large flare-up south of Santa Ynez Peak that started after sundown Thursday and continued until about 1 a.m. had some residents of Goleta and Santa Barbara worried. It occurred on the upper slope above fuels that have been influenced by the marine layer.
A weather forecast that includes the possibility of sundowner winds Friday afternoon concerns firefighters since they could produce wind gusts of 25-30 mph through passes and gaps in the vicinity of the fire. The forecast for Friday for the upper slope below and south of Santa Ynez Peak, updated at 10 a.m. on Friday, is for 88 degrees, 31 percent relative humidity, and winds out of the west at 12 mph gusting to 18. After 6 p.m. the winds should become out of the northwest at 19 gusting to 29. The incident management team is bringing in additional firefighters for this wind event.
The fire was mapped Thursday night at 13,199 acres. Resources assigned include 1,240 personnel, 92 fire engines, 23 hand-crews, 16 dozers, 12 helicopters, and 23 water tenders.
The video below by KEYT was streamed live on YouTube, showing and explaining the activities at a facility set up at the Whittier Fire for mixing retardant for helicopters that could draft to refill their tanks; that is, through a hose on the helicopter they pumped retardant from a tank on the ground while hovering. The 11-minute video did not show any ships with buckets — just Type 1 helicopters with internal or external tanks.
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.