Evacuation orders lifted for Alamo Fire area

Cheryl Sanders
July 17, 2017

As of Saturday evening, the Whittier fire, which has been burning since July 8, has increased in size from 13,199 acres to 17,364 acres.

With the potential of Sundowner winds in the forecast, fire managers will be moving fire apparatus and crews into the area and continue to improve and staff the fuel break constructed above properties in the new evacuation area.

Highway 154 is closed from 246 to Foothill Road.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for Highway 154 from Armour Ranch on the west side to the east side of Paradise Road. Gusts were expected to reach 35 miles per hour.

Santa Barbara County said in an emailed update, "the fire jumped Oak Canyon overnight, and crews will spend today protecting Tepusquet Canyon where there is a community of approximately 100 homes".

"Very dry and unstable conditions will support extreme fire behavior and rapid rates of spread", the service said.

On the south side, pet owners with small animals that can be evacuated may be brought to the Santa Barbara Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Road, Santa Barbara.

It's a coordinated public safety effort among many local, state and federal agencies including Santa Barbara County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, Caltrans, Southern CA Edison, PG&E, Goleta Water District, Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management, American Red Cross and others.

For large animal evacuations, call the Animal Services hotline at 681-4332.

Residents in the area affected by the Alamo Fire are free to return home, as Cal Fire San Luis Obispo on Sunday announced that the fire is 95 percent contained.

For the latest information about the biggest wildfires burning in California, visit http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents and https://inciweb.nwcg.gov.

On Saturday, firefighters continued to make progress toward full containment of the blaze. The western perimeter of the fire is backing into established containment lines.Helicopters and fixed-wing air tankers are supporting ground crews as needed to help cool hot spots.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times.

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