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Whittier Fire near Cachuma Lake burns 5,400 acres - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Whittier Fire near Cachuma Lake burns 5,400 acres

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Aerial view of the Whittier Fire burning near Cachuma Lake. (Photo courtesy County of Santa Barbara) Aerial view of the Whittier Fire burning near Cachuma Lake. (Photo courtesy County of Santa Barbara)
Damaged boats at Cachuma Lake Campground. Courtesy: Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara Co. Fire Damaged boats at Cachuma Lake Campground. Courtesy: Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara Co. Fire
Courtesy: Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara Co. Fire Courtesy: Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara Co. Fire
Courtesy: Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara Co. Fire Courtesy: Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara Co. Fire

For Sunday updates on the fire, click here


UPDATE - (12:15 a.m. Sunday)  Additional evacuation orders were issued early Sunday morning for residents along Farren Road. People in that area are advised to leave immediately.

Evacuation orders have also been issued for West Camino Cielo from the Winchester Gun Club east to Highway 154 and Kinevan Road, and Highway 154 from Armour Ranch Road to Paradise Road. 

An evacuation warning remains in effect for Las Varas Canyon to Winchester Canyon and from Highway 101 north to West Camino Cielo. Paradise Road from Highway 154 to the first river crossing also remained under an evacuation warning. Residents in the area are urged to prepare to evacuate if necessary.


UPDATE - (10:15 p.m. Saturday) Evacuation orders have been issued for West Camino Cielo from the Winchester Gun Club east to Highway 154 and Kinevan Road. Highway 154 from Armour Ranch Road to Paradise Road was also still under evacuation orders. People in those areas are advised to leave immediately.

An evacuation warning has been issued for Las Varas Canyon to Winchester Canyon and from Highway 101 north to West Camino Cielo. Paradise Road from Highway 154 to the first river crossing also remained under an evacuation warning. Residents in the area are urged to prepare to evacuate if necessary.


UPDATE - (8:40 p.m.) The Whittier Fire burning near Cachuma Lake has grown to 5,400 acres. according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. There is no containment.

Fire officials said the flames had gone over the ridge at Condor Peak above the Eagle Canyon area of west Goleta.

Additional firefighting resources have been ordered.


UPDATE - (7:00 p.m.) Los Padres National Forest and Santa Barbara County Fire officials report the Whittier Fire has burned more than 3,000 acres. It is burning out of control. 

Firefighters are trying to keep the fire from going over the mountain range and into Santa Barbara. The fire is burning eastward Saturday evening. 

All of the children who were evacuated from a summer camp have since been reunited with their parents. 

Highway 154 will remain closed. 

The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation. 


UPDATE - (6:10 p.m.) Santa Barbara County officials report the Whittier Fire has burned 1,000 acres.


UPDATE - (5:41 p.m.) Campers at Circle V Ranch Camp are being taken to the Santa Ynez Mission. Evacuation orders near Paradise Road are now warnings.

According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff, one structure and one patrol car burned. The car burned while deputies were evacuating kids in the camp. No one was injured.

The campers are now in the process of evacuating. The Chumash Casino is loading 63 kids onto buses and transporting them to the ballroom where they will reunite with parents.

The structure that burned is likely at the campsite, officials said.

People needing assistance evacuating large animals should call (805) 681-4332.


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has issued an immediate evacuation order for the Highway 154 corridor in the Lake Cachuma area due to the Whittier Fire that broke out earlier Saturday afternoon. 

Officials are urging residents and campers in that area to leave immediately. 

The evacuation area includes all of the 154 from Armour Ranch Road to Paradise Road. 

Residents along Paradise Road and West Camino Cielo were also being encouraged to prepare to leave. That area is under an evacuation warning. 

A shelter for Whittier Fire evacuees would be opening at Santa Ynez Elementary School, located at 3325 Pine Street and at San Marcos High School, located at 4750 Hollister Avenue.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reported that approximately 80 campers at the Circle V Ranch Camp were being sheltered in place with fire personnel because it was unsafe to transport them out by vehicle. Fire officials said the children were safe and would be escorted out as soon as possible.

Camp Whittier was also evacuated and fire officials said those campers were taken to the Highway 154/246 interchange. Cachuma Camp, Outdoor School/Rancho Alegre, Live Oak Camp, and Cachuma Village were also evacuated.

Fire officials said there were reports of structures lost in one of the camps.

The fire was estimated at about 500 acres in size and was said to be burning out of control.

It was burning on both sides of Highway 154. The fire reportedly started on the south side of the highway by Camp Whittier at about 1:40 p.m.

Highway 154 remains closed through the area with no estimated time of reopening. Drivers will need to take alternate routes. 

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