Alamo Fire burning through Santa Barbara County

Listen to this article

CalFire is reporting the Alamo Fire in Northern Santa Barbara County has now spread to 19,000 acres and is just 10 percent contained. They have called for evacuations of the  Tepusquet-Blazing Saddles area near the Los Padres National Forest.

About 1,000 firefighters are on the scene, from Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Los Angeles County and CalFire. Five helicopters and four water tankers were called in to help with the blaze. Air crews are using the Twitchell reservoir for water and the air tankers are spreading fire retardant.

Temperatures are expected to be near 100 with low humidity (20%) and winds as high as 20 mph.

Also notable about the area are the vineyards and wineries in the area. The Santa Maria area has a growing reputation as a place to find excellent wines. Presumably some of those vineyards have been evacuated and are in danger from the fire.

An evacuation center has been set up at the Minami Community Center in Santa Maria. Large animals can be sheltered at the Elks Unical Event Center.

If you have a Twitter account you can keep up-to-date with CalFire’s tweets about the Alamo and other fires. According to the CalFire PIO there are about 3,000 firefighters battling 15 large fires in California.

•••• •••• ••••• •••• ••••

UPDATE, WHITTIER FIRE: The Whittier Fire has now spread to over 5,000 acres in the Los Padres National Forest, not far from the Alamo Fire in Santa Barbara County.

According to the incident report by the U.S.D.S. Forest Service these areas under evacuation orders:

“Highway I54 from Armour Ranch Road on the west to Paradise Road on the east.

“W. Camino Cielo from the Winchester Gun Club east to Highway 154

“Kinevan Road

Residents of Goleta, CA saw this sight Saturday evening, as the Whittier Fire spread in the Los Padres National Forest

“If you are in this area you are advised to leave immediately. If you are not in this area, avoid the area and Highway 154 entirely. Highway 154 is closed from 246 to Foothill Road.”

Warnings have been issued:

Las Varas Canyon east to Winchester Canyon and from Highway 101 North to W. Camino Cielo. (alerts sent to 315 phone lines at 9:50 p.m. tonight. These are phone lines and don’t necessarily translate into number of residences or people)

“Paradise Road from 154 to the first river crossing.

“Anyone in this area should be gathering family members, pets, important documents and irreplaceable items and be prepared to leave. People with special needs should evacuate now. Large animals should be evacuated now.”

Evacuation centers have been set up:

“The south evacuation shelter is open at San Marcos High School, 4750 Hollister Ave., Goleta.

“A north evacuation shelter is open at Santa Ynez Elementary, 3325 Pine Street, Santa Ynez.

“For animal evacuation questions and offers of assistance, call the Animal Services hotline at (805) 681-4332.

Millions of people in Southern California, like these surfers at Ocean Beach in San Diego, headed to the beach on Sunday during the record-breaking heat wave. (Tim Forkes)

“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.

“Call the hotline (above) for assistance with large animal evacuations.”

Highway 154 is closed from State Route 246 to Foothill Road.

A temporary Flight Restriction has been has been issued for the fire area. Flying a private drone in wildfire areas that could potentially hamper firefighting efforts will result in serious criminal prosecution.

Southern California is going through a record-breaking heat wave. On Saturday Los Angeles broke a 131-year old high temperature record with 98°f. The previous record for July 8 was 95°f.

•••• •••• ••••• •••• ••••

UPDATE: The Whittier Fire has now spread to 7,800 acres and is 5 percent contained. The temperatures have cooled to the mid-60s and the NWS predicts there will not be any “Sundowner” winds for the next few days.

The Alamo Fire is now at 27,867 acres and is 15 percent contained.

Evacuation orders and alerts are still in place for both fires.

Photos from the San Luis Obispo Fire Dept. and U.S. Forest Service Twitter