We’re a grateful community tonight thanks to four helicopters, a couple of air tankers, 16 fire engines, four water tenders, four bulldozers, and four hand crews. Additional engines and crews from outside the area were also brought in as well. Over 300 fire personnel were assigned to yesterday’s incident up in our foothills.
Oh and let’s not forget Mother Nature’s help.
Temperatures dropped last night and winds stayed at a minimum. That was a rare treat for a string of hot October days that can usually spell trouble and bring red flag fire conditions.
But this time we lucked out.
If you live in this area, you might want to thank a fire fighter the next time you run into a group of them at Blenders. I waved to a few of them yesterday in their fire truck at a stop sign just down from 154. I smiled and mouthed, “Thank you!” I think they liked that.
Well, at least they smiled back.
I just drove over to the high school and was able to get a good look at the fire area in the foothills. There’s no more smoke blanketing the crest of the mountain and the area is grey and scorched now. It looks like a barbecue pit the day after 4th of July.
I did witness an awesome swoop by a helicopter that dropped a massive wall of water across the hillside. Wish I could’ve taken a photo but it was either drive the van (yes, my big white van) or get photos of the firefighting. I made the safer choice. But here’s a neat shot that a reporter at Noozhawk took…
(photo by Lara Cooper/Noozhawk)
To my untrained eye it looks out. But according to the Forest Service’s InciWeb website the fire is 40% contained. No estimate for a full containment has been made yet.
So keep your fingers still crossed.
We’re on Fire Alert here in Santa Barbara.
A fire broke out this morning in the Painted Cave area in the foothills above Santa Barbara. Evacuations are taking place, Reverse 911 calls are going out, and the Search & Rescue unit of the SB Sheriff’s Department is going door-to-door to evacuate people.
We have a history with fires in our community. The Jesusita Fire in 2009 burned 8,733 acres and 80 homes, the Goleta Gap Fire burned over 2800 acres in 2008, and Montecito’s Tea Fire, also in 2008, burned 200 homes. Painted Cave was the starting point for the devastating Painted Cave Fire in 1990 that destroyed 600 homes, and today’s fire is located in the same area – off the 154, in the Painted Cave area, and a quarter of a mile from the Lotus Retreat.
Everyone is vigilant at this time of the year – when the weather turns hot and dry, and the sundowner winds kick up at the end of the day. Today’s fire broke out around 8:00 a.m. and by 8:40 they have already named it “Lookout Fire.” It’s never a good sign when they name these incidents.
I’ll post more information as I learn about it.