Ray Ford has an excellent report on the fire in the Independent. A sample:
Rather than forcing the fire downhill into the ranch lands where it could be dealt with by the forces that were massing along Cathedral Oaks, the flames followed lateral channels east and west along saddles formed by erosion of softer rock materials, turning what was a half mile wide fire into one with a three-to-four mile wide. By 8pm, in the Ellwood area, rancher Ken Doty, his son, and son-in-law were busy spending the night building dozer lines to protect his property from the advancing flames.
On the other end, at the top of the Fairview area, neighbors were out in the street, dumb-struck by the huge flames they could see on the hills immediately above them. The questions were mounting.
Here is Ray’s photo gallery. Also excellent. And as scary as the text.
It is significant that Painted Cave is now under mandatory evacuation orders. If the fire jumps 154 and moves into the Painted Cave area, then winds blow down toward the city from the ridge, that would be extra bad.
[Later...] 9am. Looks like the wind is blowing the fire to the west now. Except for the firefighters, it looks like this will be a nice 4th in Santa Barbara.
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