GOLETA, Calif. — Los Padres National Forest officials today announced the investigation into the cause of the Whittier Fire has been completed. The investigation determined that a passenger vehicle driving through tall grass on the hillside above Camp Whittier ignited the fire.
No criminal charges have been filed. Due to the age of the driver, no additional details of the investigation will be made public at this time.
The Whittier Fire broke out July 8 on Bureau of Reclamation land and quickly spread onto National Forest System lands on the Santa Barbara Ranger District. The fire burned 18,430 acres before being fully contained on October 5, although the fire did not increase in size after July 20.
I have gotten several calls, but I cannot see anything from here. Matt Harris called and I spoke with him moments after the Cal-Fire spotter plane made a pass right over me. It is still in the area making passes. It is very windy. This was on Wild-CAD:
7:15 am – As of 12:34 am, a fire back behind Ventana was reported at about 3 acres. It was reported to me that evacuations were issued. 4 LPF responded. I am sure BSVFB, also, but have no collorboration. At 2:11 am, Ryan Webster was made IC, but at 3:29 am, Peter Harris was made IC, both of the LPNF, and the acreage was reduced to 1.6 acres.
6 pm – just got a notice that this fire is now up to 230,000 acres and containment has dropped to 10%. Oh, lord.
2 pm – The pyrocumulus plume is flattening, which means the winds are changing and it is the most dangerous time for fire fighters. Note the one on the top is 1:29 pm the second is is 12:19. That one reached 30K feet into the atmosphere.
Most recent MODIS – taking aim at Carpenteria and Montecito. Reminder of the Tea Fire:
I watched a smoke cloud come over Willow Creek before noon today, and now it is quite smokey up here. This is Gorda Mtn around noon, by Inga:
Below is the smoke taken from Oxnard, earlier this am:
Around noon, it was reported to me that the fire was headed to Montecito and Carpenteria.