Santa Barbara County Wildfires Continue To Grow Amid Scorching Heat [Updated]
Updated 11:02 a.m. Sunday, July 9: The Alamo fire has grown to 23,00 acres in northern Santa Barbara County. The fire remains at 10% containment, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. A bit farther south in Santa Barbara County another fire broke out Saturday, reaching 7,300 acres overnight. The fire is at 5% containment as of Sunday morning. It's burning near Lake Cachuma, approximately 35 miles southeast of the Alamo fire. Known as the Whittier Fire, it has prompted several evacuation orders and warnings. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department will deploy several helicopters to perform water drops this afternoon, in addition to the firefighting of 1,000+ personnel from across Southern California.
A wildfire, officially dubbed the Alamo Fire, broke out near Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County Thursday afternoon, quickly growing from 500 to 3,000 acres on Friday. Overnight Friday, it nearly doubled in size to 6,000 acres due to high temperatures, strong, gusty winds, and low humidity, according to Captain Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. As of 7 a.m. Saturday it was at 10% containment.
Mandatory evacuations were put in place Friday afternoon for Blazing Saddles Road and White Rock Lane, with Tepesquet Canyon Road included in the evacuations late Friday night. The winds are expected to shift northwest this afternoon, which could prompt more evacuations of the Tepesquet Canyon area. Highway 166 through the area is also closed. Approximately 300 residents of the area were notified of the evacuation, according to KSBY.
Approximately 1,000 personnel are fighting the fire, according to Captain Zaniboni. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reached out to many agencies in Southern California for assistance. The Los Angeles Fire Department sent up one strike team of 22 personnel, according to Brian Humphrey of the LAFD.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.