Hwy 154 back open after 8-day closure due to Whittier Fire - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Hwy 154 back open after 8-day closure due to Whittier Fire

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Highway 154 is finally back open. 

As fire crews start gaining some traction over the Whittier Fire, officials are starting to review areas that are no longer in direct danger. 

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office says firefighters have spent several days mopping up hot spots and removing hazards from the roadways. The California Department of Transportation, and Pacific Gas and Electric have been working alongside them to make repairs. 

Although the highway is open, evacuation orders are still in effect. However, evacuations on Highway 154 from Cathedral Oaks Road on the east side to Armour Ranch Road on the west have been lifted. Paradise Road, from Highway 154 to the first river crossing, and Cachuma Village have been reduced from evacuation orders to warnings. 

Santa Barbara County declared a local emergency Sunday afternoon

The sheriff's office urges residents to be very cautious when driving in the area and to not pull over to see the fire or where it's burned. CHP officers will be patrolling the area. 

Fire crews say the Whittier Fire will be smoldering for quite some time. As of Sunday, 18,015 acres were burned and firefighters have reached a 49 percent containment. These "smokers" are not a threat to the fire-line.

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