Whittier Fire grows to 18,311 acres, remains 49% contained - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Whittier Fire grows to 18,311 acres, remains 49% contained

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Courtesy: USFS Los Padres National Forest Courtesy: USFS Los Padres National Forest

The Whittier Fire grows to 18,311 acres and remains 49 percent contained as of Monday morning, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.

On Sunday, officials reported that nine more homes and dozens more structures have reportedly burned in the Whittier Fire.

Fire officials said Sunday the damage was done in first hours after the fire began July 8, but damage assessment teams are just now completing the assessments with the help of new software technology.

Officials had previously said eight homes and 12 outbuildings had burned. That number has now changed to 17 homes and 36 outbuildings.

More than 1,900 personnel are currently battling the the blaze.

The fire Sunday continued backing down the south slope of the Santa Ynez Mountains above the canyons west of Goleta.

As it nears the bottom of the slope, fire officials say flanking runs and short, intense burning could take place.

The fire broke out the afternoon of July 8 along Highway 154 near Cachuma Lake and grew quickly.

Highway 154 is closed from Highway 246 to Foothill Road (Highway 192). Officials say there is a possibility the highway will re-open Sunday night, depending on fire behavior throughout the day.

Evacuation orders and warnings remain in effect.

The cause is under investigation.

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