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Residents in Whittier Fire evacuation zones wait for word that d - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Residents in Whittier Fire evacuation zones wait for word that danger has passed

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Evacuation orders remain in effect for the Whittier Fire that broke out Saturday afternoon along Highway 154 next to Cachuma Lake.

Along West Camino Cielo, most homes were evacuated, as well as the popular Cold Spring Tavern restaurant.

Some people decided to stay and help out in any way they can.

Randy Potts has lived along West Camino Cielo for more than 60 years, so when the Whittier Fire broke out in the area, he knew just what to do.

"What I am doing right now is just clearing the roadside within the proximity of where my community is," Potts explained on Monday.

He lives in an evacuation zone but said he decided to stay to try to protect his community.

"Conditions are such that we feel like we can stay right now and if it gets real bad, then we are packed and ready to go," he said.

Resident Clyde Bennett, who lives in an evacuation warning zone, is ready to go at a moment's notice, too.

"My wife is an artist and quilter. She wanted to take some of the artwork and quilt work," he said.

Bennett said he cut all the weeds 100 feet around his home and now just waits for further notice.

"It's scary. There is no question about that," he said.

Tense moments for Bennett and for those at Cold Spring Tavern, who were evacuated Saturday.

"It's such a historical landmark and it's like home for so many people for so many years," said Cold Spring Tavern General Manager Donna Mudge.

Despite having to close the restaurant, Mudge said she is hopeful.

"You know, the tavern has angels over it so I think we are going to be fine," she said.

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