Wildfire near Lake Cachuma burns more than 13,000 acres, prompts more evacuations

LAKE CACHUMA, Calif. (KABC) -- A fast-moving brush fire in northern Santa Barbara County near Lake Cachuma prompted more evacuations as it grew to more than 13,000 acres Friday.

The blaze, dubbed the Whittier Fire, started Saturday along Highway 154 and burned about 330 acres near Camp Whittier. The fire spread quickly and prompted evacuations at campsites in the area and homes along the corridor.

As of Friday night, at least 2,700 people were evacuated, and the blaze had charred 13,199 acres.

Nathan Corman was one of those people who had to be evacuated.

"We're always concerned when there's a fire in our backyard," he said. "We're glad that there's no wind, that the wind is basically dead calm. If they stay that way, we should make it through the night OK."

Mandatory orders were expanded to the following areas:

  • Highway 154 from Armour Ranch Road on the west to Paradise Road on the east
  • Paradise Road from the highway east to the first river crossing
  • West Camino Cielo from the Winchester Gun Club east of Highway 154
  • Kinevan Road, including the Rosario Park
  • All of Stagecoach Road
  • All of Winchester Canyon Road, except for the community of Wagon Wheel and Langlo Ranch Road, west of El Capitan Ranch Road
  • Calle Real north of West Camino Cielo from Winchester Canyon Road on the east to El Capitan Ranch Road on the west

More than 1,600 firefighters, including teams from Los Angeles and Orange County, were working to stop the spread of the blaze, which is at 52 percent containment.

Public information officer Mike McMillan said those firefighters were getting prepared if the fire moved beyond the hillsides.

Fire crews are concerned about Sundowner Winds, which are expected to produce gusts between 25 and 30 mph through the passes.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.
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