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Fire concerns

NYC
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Fire concerns

I've been following the news of the mountain fire in Santa Barbara since yesterday and before anything would like to commend the work of all the firefighters trying to work under current conditions in order to do everything they can to contain the fire. This is without a doubt a very difficult period for them and all the residents who have been in any way affected by this disaster.

I am set for visiting Santa Barbara on Tuesday, May 12. Are there any forecasts on what the situation would be like by then ? I'm planning to do a trolley tour, stop by SB Courthouse, SB mission, and check out the harbor. Should I alter my plans now ?

Grover Beach...
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1. Re: Fire concerns

Here's a post from gnahcd, a local Santa Barbara resident, with links to keep up to date on the fire situation:

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More about gnahcd...

Posted on: 12:50 am, today

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Here is the county's official fire website: http://www.countyofsb.org/ceo/dept0.aspx It is especially useful for knowing the current mandatory evacuation and evacuation warning areas. maps.google.com/maps/ms…

KEYT is the local TV news station that has been staying with the activity non-stop and is providing the best coverage: http://www.keyt.com/news/local

Currently, at 9:45 PM on Wed it has quieted down a bit. The winds are less, but the fire is still burning. Today we thought it would stay up in the hills, but then the darn winds started up in the late PM and the fire took off. The evacuation warning area boundary is 1 block away from where we live.

These are our sundowner winds which can exacerbate a fire situation. They start up in the late afternoon thru sundown and heat up the air by 10-15 degrees.

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Right now, it isn't looking too good for our friends and neighbors in Santa Barbara.

california
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2. Re: Fire concerns

To be hotest, Leshka, yes, if you have time to alter your plans I would go ahead. Even if the fire is contained, it will still be burning in the brush for a while. The air quality hazards are real.

Depending on where you are flying into, you could visit the San Luis Obispo/Cambria area, or if coming into LAX, perhaps Orange County/ San Diego County, eg there is mission San Juan Capistrano and Old Town.

Santa Ynez...
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3. Re: Fire concerns

I would change plans. The fire is at 10% containment and most of the area in SB is evacuated. Since the poster yesterday things took a turn for the absolute worst last night.

The other posts about the fire will give you some updates and links to maps.

santa barbara
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4. Re: Fire concerns

Hi Leshka,

Don't know if you already have your reservations, but every hotel room in the Santa Barbara area as far as I know is occupied by the evacuees. We are one of them and I can tell you that we are so appreciative of the "tourists" who are postponing their vacations so that the residences can have as many rooms available as possible. Also the air quality is so bad that you should not even be out without a mask, it also causes extreme eye irritation. This is not the place to be right now if you can at all avoid it. Come another time when you can truly enjoy all that our beautiful little city has to offer, with clean, fresh air included:-)

santa barbara
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5. Re: Fire concerns

Latest update re: lodging in SB is that it is near capacity and our residents who have not had mandatory evacuation orders yet may have to go as far as Ventura or San Luis Obispo for lodging. Oh, another aspect of the ash, that is falling like snowflakes, is that it penetrates your clothing and feels like tiny glass particles...there is nothing that is "normal" in Santa Barbara at this time.

Mission Viejo...
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6. Re: Fire concerns

Perfect storm...at least one cruise ship will visit SB on Sunday. This is pretty rare but the ship was diverted to avoid the swine flu in Mexico! Lodging is no problem of course, but that will be 2000-3000 more people in the downtown SB area.

Santa Barbara...
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7. Re: Fire concerns

Cooler weather - no wind and a marine layer - last night and this morning (Sat) are helping firefighters. The percent containment is up.

The bus systems, including the downtown and waterfront shuttle, have been operating continuously during this event.

I didn't speak up during the event to avoid appearing too cavalier, but except for those that had to evacuate, those of us outside of the evacuation zones are carrying on as normal. Although, my wife, rightly so, has us packed up and ready to leave. (My office was in the mandatory evac zone on Friday, and we were told to stay home, but I think that will change on Monday.)

Even though State St below Mission St is in the evacuation warning zone, restaurants and shops are still open. The smoke from the fires is mostly going straight up. However, there is plenty of ash falling and when wind or a car rolls by, it gets kicked up and can be a nuisance.

I drove around on Thursday at the height of the crisis. The Harbor was fully operating. I couldn't tell whether the Courthouse was open. It is on the edge of the mandatory evac zone. The Mission is in the mandatory evac zone, but it didn't burn. I didn't check to see if the trolley tours were running.

Today, KEYT has stopped their continuous coverage. I don't hear the helicopters. So, I am cautiously optimistic that things will be much better by Tuesday.

Kibblesmom and others - thanks for your concern. David

Grover Beach...
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8. Re: Fire concerns

We're all pulling for your city, David. Good to hear the marine layer came in this morning. That should help with the fire fighting efforts considerably. Hoping for the best from SLO country.

Take care and keep us apprised.

K-mom

santa barbara
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9. Re: Fire concerns

Yes, a beautiful, cool marine layer has moved in as gnahcd mentioned and many of the 30,000 evacuees are now being allowed back into their homes as of today. Hopefully all will be back to normal soon. The air is still somewhat smokey and fine ashes are still with us, but it is not anything like it was. We are all so thankful to all the firemen and the policemen who came from far and wide to help our community. What an amazing job they did and are still doing!!

It will be nice to see another beautiful cruise ship in our harbor and know that our city and the merchants are happy they are here enjoying our gorgeous city.

10. Re: Fire concerns

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