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Whittier Fire grows slightly overnight; 36% contained - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Whittier Fire grows slightly overnight; 36% contained

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An air tanker makes a drop along the western flank of the fire. (Photo: Mike Eliason/SB Co. Fire) An air tanker makes a drop along the western flank of the fire. (Photo: Mike Eliason/SB Co. Fire)

The Whittier Fire burning near Cachuma Lake grew slightly overnight with no additional containment reached.

Sunday morning, fire officials said a total of 18,015 had burned and containment was at 36 percent.

The fire broke out a week ago along Highway 154 and quickly grew, prompting immediate evacuations and the closure of Highway 154 at Highway 246.

Fire officials said sundowner winds expected Friday and again Saturday were a major concern, and that there was still a lot of unburned fuel around the perimeter of the fire.

Fire officials said things went well Saturday night into Sunday. They are focusing on the eastern and western flanks of the fire and waiting to see if the southern flank will make its way to the bottom of the canyon. If that happens, fire officials say the fire could then make another run.

More than 1,900 personnel are currently assigned to the Whittier Fire.  

New evacuation orders were issued Friday and remain in effect as the flames continued backing down the south slope of the Santa Ynez Mountains above the canyons west of Goleta. 

Smoke from the Whittier Fire could be seen throughout Santa Barbara County for a majority of the weekend.

Utilities and public service agencies are reminding people to prepare for possible power outages due to increased fire danger to its transmission and distribution lines.

Eight homes and 12 other structures have been destroyed by the fire.

Five firefighters have been injured, but officials say all have returned to work.

forest closure for the Whittier Fire went into effect Saturday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Highway 101 remains open.

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