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Whitter Fire Trapped About 80 Kids, Staff At Santa Ynez Valley Camp, But They Are Reported Safe

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(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)
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The Whittier Fire is burning on both side of Highway 154 in the Santa Ynez Valley east of Solvang

The fast moving Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County Saturday left about 80 kids and staff trapped at a Santa Ynez Valley camp, but they are reported to be safe with firefighters on hand to protect them.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department Captain Dave Zaniboni says as plans were made to evacuate the Circle V ranch south of Highway 154, near Lake Cachuma they discovered the fire was on both sides of the highway. They decided to have people at the camp shelter in place, with a contingent of Los Padres National Forest firefighters on hand to insure their safety.

Another nearby camp, Camp Whitter, was safely evacuated, but some of its buildings were lost.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.