Whittier Fire forces mandatory evacuations in neighborhoods west of Goleta

Vincent Carr
July 16, 2017

"We're always concerned when there's a fire in our backyard", he said. Gusts are expected to reach 35 miles per hour if the winds develop.

Highway 154 has also been closed to the public from Highway 246 to Foothill Road, as well as the Los Padres National Forest in the area where the wildfire is burning.

The conflagration, which had blackened 7,000 hectares along California's scenic central coast as of Saturday afternoon, was being fed by brush and vegetation that had not burned since 1955, according to fire officials. The fire spread quickly and prompted evacuations at campsites in the area and homes along the corridor.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

"There are several reports of motorists stopping on roads and highways to view the fire", Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.

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The evacuation order was effective at 11 a.m. Violating the order carries a penalty of $5,000 and/or six months in jail.

The order will expire when the Whittier Fire is fully contained and controlled. Evacuation shelters were opened at a high school in Goleta. The Santa Barbara Humane Society, 5399 Overpass Road in Santa Barbara, is also available to assist evacuees with small animals.

For help with animal evacuation, contact the Animal Services Hotline at 681-4332. Large animals are being accepted at Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara. But they said they expected fire crews to regain the upper hand on Saturday.

Large old oak trees are continuing to burn well after the fire has passed, leaving hazardous snags along highways and firelines.

An evacuation warning remained in place for residents in Tepusquet Canyon.

Other reports by BadHub

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