Acreage burned now 11,249 with containment rising to 48%; most-active burning was in the Hot Spring Canyon area

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor 

A flare-up on the northeastern flank of the Whittier Fire was putting up a lot of smoke Tuesday afternoon, much of which was drifting over the city of Santa Barbara.

Movement along the western edge on the north slope also prompted Santa Ynez Valley residents asking if Alisal Ranch was being evacuated however that is not happening, according to Mike Eliason, Public Information Officer for Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

“It’s eating up some more acreage,” said Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the SBC Fire.

He added that the most active burning was in the Hot Spring Canyon area on the south side of Highway 154, near the Rancho San Marcos Golf Course.

“We expected some more fire activity today, just because there’s sun out,” Zaniboni said.

The fire in that area reportedly was burning in the direction of Bear Creek.

Firefighters were hitting that area hard on the ground and in the air.

Other areas of the fire appeared quieter as crews continued building containment lines.

As of 7 p.m., the fire had blackened 11,249 acres and was 48 percent contained.

Check back for a complete update on the fire later this evening.

— Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at