Skip to main content

Whittier Fire

Unit Information

Los Padres National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Goleta, CA 93117

USFS Shield

Whittier Fire Morning Update for July 17th, 2017

Whittier Fire Wildfire
News – 7/17/2017

July 17, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Start Date: July 8, 2017 Cause: Under Investigation Size: 18,311 acres Containment: 49% Personnel: 2,271

Structures burned: 16 Residences destroyed 1 Residence damaged
30 Outbuildings destroyed 6 Outbuildings damaged

Location: Santa Ynez Mountains in local, federal and state responsibility areas south of Lake Cachuma

Current Situation: The fire is smoldering on the northern flank. On the eastern and western sides of the fire, expect some flanking runs as the main fire backs into drainage bottoms and aligns with slopes. Tactical firing operations may be used to eliminate unburned fuels near containment lines. The eastern side of the fire is established in the bottom of Bear Creek; however, the fire has not crossed the creek. Structure defense crews are in place at the Cold Springs Tavern which remains in the Mandatory Evacuation Order. Fire is backing down the southern slopes of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Helicopters and fixed-wing air tankers are supporting ground crews as needed to help cool hot spots.

Highway 154 is open. The following evacuation orders have been reduced to evacuation warnings: Paradise Road from Highway 154 to the first river crossing; and Cachuma Village. All other evacuation orders are in effect.

Damage Assessment: Damage assessment teams using new software technology have updated the number of structures damaged or destroyed during the early hours of the fire. The Whittier Fire incident management team would like to commend the damage assessment efforts of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management with regard to their efficient and ongoing operations.

Fire Resources:
53 Fire Crews 144 Fire Engines 35 Water Tenders 4 Masticators
4 Fixed Wing 16 Helicopters 18 Bulldozers Total Personnel: 2,271

Weather Event: Dry and warm air will remain over the region today with temperatures and humidity trends showing little change over the mountains. The coastal section of the fire will see increasing offshore winds. As the high pressure system moves towards the east, a slight cooling trend will develop, with winds over the peaks coming from the northwest to north direction.

Fire Weather: Temp: 94-99 Relative Humidity: 20-25% Winds: 3-6 and gusts to 15 mph

Information Sources: A fire information call center is staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day. Register at to receive emergency alerts from Santa Barbara County.

Evacuation Warning: Paradise Road, from Highway 154 to the first river crossing; Cachuma Village

Mandatory Evacuations: West Camino Cielo at Highway 154 to Winchester Gun Club and Kinevan Road; Rosario Park and all of Stagecoach Road; All of Winchester Canyon Road excluding the community of Wagon Wheel, Langlo Ranch Road and Winchester Commons, west to El Capitan ranch road; Calle Real north to West Camino Cielo, from Winchester Canyon Road on the east to El Capitan Ranch Road on the west. This includes all roads and trails within the area of the order.

Evacuation Shelters: The American Red Cross has evacuation shelters at San Marcos High School, 4750 Hollister Ave., Goleta. The Santa Ynez shelter is prepared to open if necessary.

Related Information