Whittier Fire containment drops as acreage increases overnight

A firefighter sits onto of the engine as the Whittier fire moves closer to Goleta Friday July 14, 2017. Photo by Daniel Dreifuss

The Whittier Fire has now burned 17,365 acres and has dropped to 35 percent containment as of Saturday morning, according to fire officials.

“Fire will continue to grow on the west, south, and east side. Smoke will be visible from surrounding communities,” they wrote on their incident report.

The fire that started a week ago on July 8 near Camp Whittier has a heavy load for fuel since the area hasn’t burned since the Refugio Fire in 1955. The plan is to maintain structure defense if winds materialize, to continue building direct lines, indirect line construction, and contingency line construction.

Yesterday officials that were part of the first responders involved in the July 8 Circle V Ranch Camp rescue provided more details about the incident today. Their heroics were detailed after an update on the #Whittierfire. Check out our live feed of the press conference here:
https://www.facebook.com/SantaYnezValleyStar/videos/1676527962656903/

A video of the attempt by sheriff’s deputies in eight patrol cars, led by Sgt. Neil Gowing, to access Circle V before they were stopped by a wall of flames engulfing the roadway was documented by a dash cam and released after the press conference. 

In total, 82 Circle V Ranch Camp campers and and staff were safely evacuated by first responders.

There is now a total of 1,610 firefighters assigned, including 103 Fire Engines, 23 Hand-crews, 18 Dozers, 14 Helicopters, and 22 Water Tenders. Fixed-wing tankers are available from local air bases as needed to support this incident.