KITP: ring of fire

it is thursday afternoon, temperature is almost 100F
and the winds are picking up, right on schedule

looking through the window on the other side from my office I can see the fire flaring up
looks bad

It looks almost like there are 3-5 separate fires burning now, from my vantage.

Two are moving up the mountain, one on the north side in fresh bush, the other at the top of the canyons, and looks to have almost crested the mountain ridge – if it gets over into the backcountry we’re in for a very long weekend… I gather a lot of the firefighter resources are up there on the ridge crest roads trying to hold that line – lots of powerlines going to LA back there.

One fire is on the north side, low, might head towards San Marco pass still, if the wind turns.
One fire at the mouth of the canyons, above foothill, that is where the big danger is.
If the fire crosses that line it is in among the houses.
I just saw fresh smoke flare up next ridge south of there – hard to say where because of perspective foreshortening, but either right by Foothill or actually south of Foothill.
Helicopter was on it within minutes, dropping 200 gallon water buckets, but didn’t seem to have much effect. If that fire establishes I am guessing they’ll have to pull back some of the firecrews further up.

PS: that southern plume of smoke is gone, helis plus ground crews must have got on it fast enough – good thing…

Gonna be an interesting few hours until sundown.
News is coming out late and slow, no time for the crews to talk or aggregate statistics.
Still no robust count on how many houses were lost that I heard, except one SB Independent reporter counted over 30, with more damaged.
Lots of “checkerboarding” yesterday, with the wind sending embers all around and starting local spot fires.

Have to go get lesser munchkin out of preschool – they’re closing early because of smoke.

My officemate lost his place yesterday afternoon, just got his stuff.
KITP found another place for him, or he was going to have crash with us.
A friend of a friend was going to also crash at our house, but she now heard her house may have survived, so maybe not.

Here is a superb account of wednesday afternoon from the Santa Barbara Independent – extremely good reporting.