Public Barred from Whittier Fire Area


Dramatic dashcam footage was released of Santa Barbara County Sheriff officers attempting to access a summer camp during the * a href="*/stories/172701" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" *Whittier wildfire that ravaged the region on July 8. It also came from controlled burns to try and reduce the amount of fuel in the fire's path.

The conflagration, which had blackened 17,364 acres 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.

As of Saturday evening, the fire was 36 percent contained, officials said.

"We had a very calm night as far as the fire behavior goes and that's because the wind never really picked up", he said.

Officials attribute the increase in size partly to low humidity and high temperatures, according to the L.A. Times.

High-pressure, dry air remained over the area Saturday, creating conditions for gusty and locally strong Sundowner winds that were predicted to possibly push the fire toward populated areas Saturday evening. The weather is supposed to cool down on Monday.

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Currently, there are about 1,924 total personnel attacking the Whittier blaze, with 39 fire crews, 145 fire engines, 30 water tenders, four masticators, six fixed-wing aircraft, 14 helicopters and 18 bulldozers.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, the 28,687-acre Alamo fire near Santa Maria was 93 percent contained as of Saturday morning, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Hundreds of people fled the area when the fire broke out July 6 off Highway 166 near Twitchell Reservoir in San Luis Obispo County.

Paradise Canyon Road from Highway 154 east to the first river crossing, Rosario Park and all of Stagecoach Road and Farren Road and Las Varas Canyon Road are also included in the evacuation order.