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Whittier Fire forces mandatory evacuations in neighborhoods west of Goleta
16 July 2017, 03:55 | Darnell Patrick
A plume of smoke from the Whittier Fire seen from Cachuma Lake
Fire officials expect sundowner winds Saturday evening, which will make containment more hard, according to the L.A. Times.
About 2,700 hundred people have been evacuated.
The Whittier Fire, which broke out on July 8 and has already destroyed eight homes, had been more than 50 percent contained on Friday before so-called "Sundowner" winds picked up in the evening, according to a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection website. Gusts are expected to reach 35 miles per hour if the winds develop. "We're always concerned when there's a fire in our backyard", he said.
Currently, there are about 1,615 total personnel attacking the Whittier blaze, with 38 fire crews, 103 fire engines, 22 water tenders, four masticators, six fixed-wing aircraft, 14 helicopters and 18 bulldozers.
The forecast is expected to continue to spur the fire's growth in the coming 24 hours, with wind gusts of up to 35 mph, temperatures in the mid-90s and low humidity.
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The American Red Cross is operating an evacuation center located at San Marcos High School, 4750 Hollister Ave.in Goleta.
For large animal evacuations, call the Animal Services hotline at 681-4332.
Large old oak trees are continuing to burn well after the fire has passed, leaving hazardous snags along highways and firelines.
As for the Alamo fire, county officials said crews made good progress constructing and maintaining lines Thursday night, bringing containment to 92 percent with 28,687 acres burned. Tepusquet Road is open to residents only from Highway 166 to Santa Maria Mesa Road.
Highway 101 remained open, but officials noted the huge plume of smoke was causing traffic headaches along the highway.
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