Whittier Fire forces mandatory evacuations in neighborhoods west of Goleta

People watch flames from the Whittier Fire from Winchester Circle on Thursday night in Goleta.
People watch flames from the Whittier Fire from Winchester Circle on Thursday night in Goleta. Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Mandatory evacuations were ordered Friday for neighborhoods below the mountains in western Goleta because of expected activity with the Whittier Fire as sundowner winds arrive.

The areas affected include Winchester Canyon Road, west to El Capitan Ranch Road, excluding the Winchester Commons and Wagon Wheel/Langlo Ranch Road community. The order includes the Rancho Embarcadero neighborhood in Tecolote Canyon, as well as Farren Road. The latter previously had been under an evacuation order that was reduced to a warning. The evacuation order was effective at 11 a.m.

On Friday afternoon, mandatory evacuations were extended to Paradise Road, from Highway 154 to the first river crossing, near the fire’s east flank.

Evacuation orders remained in effect for Highway 154 from Armour Ranch to Paradise Road, and West Camino Cielo from Highway 154 to the Winchester Gun Club.

Kinevan Road was added to the mandatory evacuation list late Thursday night.

Firefighters were expecting sundowner winds Friday and Saturday nights, which could push flames from the blaze down the slope toward populated areas west of Goleta.

As of Friday morning, the Whittier Fire had burned 13,199 acres and was 52 percent contained.

An evacuation center is at San Marcos High School at 4750 Hollister Ave. If you require assistance in evacuating or if you have further questions regarding the fire, call 805-699-6451.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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