Los Padres National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
6750 Navigator Way
Goleta, CA 93117
July 25, 2017
Local incident management team to assume command of Whittier Fire
GOLETA, Calif, - On Wednesday, July 26, at 7:00 a.m., California Interagency Incident Management Team 3 (CIIMT3) will transition command of the Whittier Fire to a local Type 3 incident management team (IMT).
The incoming team, under command of Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) Battalion Chief Curt Schwram, is comprised of members from the LPNF and local fire agencies. Schwram will be managing a much leaner operation with a focus on detecting and extinguishing heat sources near the line, containment and fire suppression repair. His organization will be based out of the Santa Barbara Ranger District Office, 3505 Paradise Rd, Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Whittier Fire ignited on July 8, at 1:40 p.m., in the Santa Ynez Mountains south of Lake Cachuma. The fast-moving fire burned 16 homes and 30 other structures in the initial hours. At it’s peak over 2,100 firefighters worked diligently day and night to extinguish the blaze. With the fire 87% contained, the staffing is now just below 200 firefighters and support staff.
There are over 100 miles of fireline to be repaired. Firefighters will continue searching for hot spots, pull cut brush over the lines and build water bars to help decrease soil erosion. They will be working together with the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team as they assess the fire area and identify potential treatments to protect sensitive resources.
The Whittier Fire will continue to smolder for some time. These “smokers” are well inside the perimeter of the burn and do not pose a threat to the fireline.
Fire restrictions and a Forest Closure Order remain in effect for the Los Padres National Forest. Before planning activities, please refer to the LPNF website Alerts and Notices or call the Forest Information Line. The phone number currently being used for the fire information center will be disconnected as of 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 25th. Please check inciweb.nwcg.gov or call the Forest Information Line at (805) 968-6640.
California Interagency Incident Management Team 3 incident commander Mark von Tillow would like to thank the community, the Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and CAL FIRE for their ongoing support and cooperation.