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Facing wildfire challenges in California: Whittier Fire update - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Facing wildfire challenges in California: Whittier Fire update

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Fire crews working on the Whittier Fire meet for the latest update. (KSBY Photo) Fire crews working on the Whittier Fire meet for the latest update. (KSBY Photo)

A press briefing was held Monday afternoon on the Whittier Fire's progression, as well as bringing news outlets up to date on the challenges firefighters face in during California wildfires. 

As fire crews start gaining an upper-hand on the Whittier Fire, there are several other complex parts to the fire fight that were addressed in the press conference. 

What we know

  • The Whittier Fire has torched 18,311 acres and is 49 percent contained; fire crews hope the containment number will increase overnight. There are 2,271 personnel, including support people on the ground who help around the clock. 
  • More containment lines are expected to be solidified by the end of the day Monday. 
  • There were 16 residences destroyed, one damaged, 30 outbuildings were destroyed and six were damaged. 

Check this link for the latest evacuation information.

Fire officials stressed the importance of preparing yourself and your home if a wildfire were to become a threat. Visiting websites like Aware and Prepare and Ready for Wildfire can help make smooth transitions. 

Eric Peterson, Santa Barbara County Fire chief, talked highly of the inter-agency cooperation and coordination on the fire. 

"If you took a walk through that command post, or you look at the group over here, you see a lot of different colored uniforms, and it is such a pleasure to work in a unified system where no one cares what color uniform they're wearing," Peterson said. "Everybody working in the system have one goal in mind: and that is to get this fire out and get everybody back into their homes, (for nobody to get) hurt, and get all our firefighters home safely." 

This fire season has been a bigger challenge for fire crews. CAL FIRE officials say they hit a record with 630 fires that had started in one week in the state of California. 

"Just in the last 10 years California's experienced some of the most devastating fires in its history," said Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE chief. "The challenge we have with wild land fire in California is only going to continue to grow."  

Various agencies will continue to solidify containment lines and mop-up what they can of the Whittier Fire.

You can watch the full press conference here or below:

Related Stories:

Photos: Whittier Fire 2017

Evacuation orders lifted for areas east of Whittier Fire

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