While the fire perimeter on the east side of the fire (directly north of Winchester Canyon) remained relatively stable, with little expansion into Bear Creek Canyon, that was not the case on the west side of the Whittier Fire.
The night before the fire moved aggressively up the back side of the mountains, burning over the crest above Dos Pueblos Canyon and coming up to West Camino Cielo in numerous spots west of Santa Ynez Peak. Fortunately, though the fire burned quite a ways down into DP Canyon, as it reached the top edge of the marine layer the damp, cooling air settled the fire down.
In other locations while the fire line was able to reach the Cielo crest, it didn’t slop over to the south side. Yesterday the focus was on dozer work, adding hand lines and hose lays on the north side of the crest to improve containment and use of aerial attack on the south side to lay down thousands of pounds of retardant from DP Canyon west past Broadcast and SY Peaks.
At the same time spot fires pushed a thousand feet down into Gato and Las Varas Canyons. With windier conditions the spots began to flare up in the afternoon and by 7pm they had turned into major columns of smoke.
By 8pm the spots had turned into a blazing line of fire with flames ranging from 10-25′ in length. While dramatic, most likely when they hit the marine layer at about the 1,200 foot level they will quiet down (Did they?? Too late for me to stay and see).
However, warmer temps and light sundowners are predicted for today. The problem is, that while things most likely settled down just fine last night, there are now pockets of burning embers and other material deep down in Gato, Las Varas and possibly DP Cyn.
Today could be a big test for firefighters and those who live in the western part of Goleta should be vigilant.