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Firefighters Report Progress Towards Containment Of Alamo, Whittier Fires In Santa Barbara County

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)
Vehicles destroyed by Whittier brush fire

Firefighters battling the two major brush fires burning in Santa Barbara County say its been a good day Tuesday, with cooler weather allowing them to make new inroads on both the Alamo, and Whittier Fires.

The 29,000 acre Alamo Fire northeast of Santa Maria is now 45% contained. The 10,800 acre Whittier Fire, south of Lake Cachuma in the Santa Ynez Mountains is 25% contained. On the Whittier Fire, the end of the extreme fire conditions has made it safer for hand crews to get into more areas to build fire lines.

Crews are hoping to make substantial programs before things heat up again this coming weekend.

Ventura County Fire Department Captain Mike Lindbery is a spokesman for the Unified command for the Whittier Fire. He says despite the progress, it’s still not safe enough to reopen Highway 154 between Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez. There are falling rocks, and trees on sections of the highway. It could be a few days still before Highway 154 reopens.

Lindbery says they’re doing well building lines around three of the four sides of the Whittier Fire, but rugged terrain is making it tough to get lines in place on the fire’s west side.

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