Battle against Whittier Fire leads to evacuation order

A USFS bulldozer cuts a line through vegetation to create a safety line below West Camino Cielo while fighting the Whittier Fire near Santa

The area that is burning has not burned since 1955, according to USA Today.

As of Saturday evening, the fire was 36 percent contained, officials said.

The slope that the Whittier fire is charring is comprised of oak trees and brush that has't burned since the Refugio fire in 1995, officials said.

Dramatic dashcam footage was released of Santa Barbara County Sheriff officers attempting to access a summer camp during the * a href="https://newswire.storyful.com/storylines/*/stories/172701" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" *Whittier wildfire that ravaged the region on July 8. Those orders remained in place Saturday.

Almost 3,000 people who were forced to flee their homes near Cachuma Lake and the community of Goleta remained under evacuation orders as fire officials said another evening of Sundowners could drive the flames toward populated areas. Evacuation warnings remain for Tepesquet Canyon residents only.

More than 1,600 firefighters are battling the blaze, including 38 fire crews, six fixed-wing airplanes and 14 helicopters, officials said.

"The east and west flanks of the fire continue to burn towards established containment lines".

"The combination of old, dry fuels with a newly cured heavy grass crop contributed to the rapid growth of this fire", Cal Fire said.

The American Red Cross is operating an evacuation center located at San Marcos High School, 4750 Hollister Ave.in Goleta.

Fire officials had prepared for severe "sundowner winds" Friday night but they turned out to be mostly mild, McMillan said. The Santa Barbara Humane Society, 5399 Overpass Road in Santa Barbara, is also available to assist evacuees with small animals.

The cause of the Whittier fire remains under investigation.

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