Smoke fills the air in Mountain Communities

UPDATE: Frazier Park and Pine Mountain Club, CA (Monday, July 17 at 8:30 a.m.)—Smoke again fills the sky over Pine Mountain Club and, to a lesser extent, Frazier Park this morning. The source is confirmed to be from the Santa Barbara area, from the blaze named the Whittier fire near Goleta. Here is a summary of details about that fire, released at 6 a.m. this morning by the Los Padres National Forest and incident command.

The fires started on July 8 and now covers 18,311 acres. It is 49% contained, with 53 fire crews; 144 fire engines; 35 water tenders; 4 masticators; 4 fixed wing aircraft; 16 helicopters; 18 bulldozers and  2,271 people assigned to fight it. So far, 16 homes and 30 outbuildings have been destroyed; six outbuildings have been damaged. The location is in the Santa Ynez Mountains south of Lake Cachuma. Highway 154 is open again. Some evacuation orders have been reduced, but others remain in effect.

Helicopters and fixed-wing air tankers are supporting ground crews as needed to help cool hot spots: “The fire is smoldering on the northern flank. On the eastern and western sides of the fire, expect some flanking runs as the main fire backs into drainage bottoms and aligns with slopes.  Tactical firing operations may be used to eliminate unburned fuels near containment lines.  The eastern side of the fire is established in the bottom of Bear Creek; however, the fire has not crossed the creek.  Structure defense crews are in place at the Cold Springs Tavern which remains in the Mandatory Evacuation Order. Fire is backing down the southern slopes of the Santa Ynez Mountains.”
Winds are 3-6 mph today, with gusts of 15 mph that may push the fire to the south and east today. Register at to receive emergency alerts from Santa Barbara County.

Frazier Park, CA (Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 8:57 a.m.)—Kern County Fire Captain Jake Shirley confirms that smoke in the air from Pine Mountain Club through Frazier Park is drift smoke from the Whittier fire near Santa Barbara. Shirley said there are currently no wildfires burning in our mountain local area.

 Pine Mountain Club and Frazier Park, CA (Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 7:30 a.m.)—Los Padres National Forest is warning residents that smoke from the Whittier Fire near Santa Barbara is affecting all of the San Joaquin Valley. Children, those with respiratory ailments and sensitive individuals are advised to stay indoors with windows shut this morning as dense smoke is covering the sun in the Pine Mountain community and  also affecting Frazier Park. If you have a hepa filter, turn it on.

Fire crews in Frazier Park are out on a medical assist call. Pine Mountain Station 58 is not answering their phone. We are reporting what we have at this time in an alert from official sources. We are now doing a physical check of the area and will report as soon as we have additional information.

This is part of the July 14, 2017 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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