GOLETA, Calif. - Whittier Fire officials told residents living in Western Goleta were told to pack up their belongings and evacuate their homes Friday morning.
Firefighters believe the wildfire has a potential to become more active Friday night and into the weekend.
The new Mandatory Evacuation Order has been issued for areas in the Santa Barbara front country as the Whittier Fire has been backing slowly down the south slope of the Santa Ynez Mountains above the canyons west of Goleta. With the potential of Sundowner winds and strong wind gusts forecast Friday and Saturday, fire managers will be moving fire apparatus and crews into the area.
Kery Sawyer lives in the Rancho Embarcadero neighborhood on Calle Real. She got the notification while she was at work and headed straight home to pack.
“I have a go bag and then some. Most important things were the papers and all the momentos and keepsakes," said Sawyer.
While she is taking the evacuation order seriously, some of her neighbors are not.
“I don’t want to waste my life foolishly. If the fire department professionals say it’s time to get out.. I’d rather air on the side of caution than come home and have everything I own burn to ashes and never be able to recover it," said Sawyer.
Mandatory Evacuations are in effect for the following areas:
All of Winchester Canyon Road excluding the community of Wagon Wheel, Langlo Ranch Road and Winchester Commons west to El Capitan Ranch Road.
Calle Real north to West Camino Cielo from Winchester Canyon Road on the east to El Capitan Ranch Road on the west.
Highway 154 from Armour Ranch Road on the west to Paradise Road on the east.
W. Camino Cielo from the Winchester Gun Club east to Highway 154
Paradise Road from Highway 154 to the first river crossing.
If you're affected by the order, you can stay at an evacuation shelter at San Marcos High School located at 4750 Hollister Avenue in Goleta.