The Zaca Fire has burned southeast through the Los Padres National Forest, and straight toward Santa Barbara. This report says the fire can be seen from Paradise Valley now, and is advancing in that direction. Paradise Valley is being evacuated, and 154 — the main road from Santa Barbara northwest through the Santa Ynez Valley — is closed.
Paradise Valley is not misnamed. It’s one of the most beautiful places in California, and therefore the world. Here are the Flickr shots I have tagged with ParadiseValley.
If the fire crosses Paradise Valley, the next line of defense for Santa Barbara is the top of the Santa Ynez ridge, along East Camino Cielo. If that fails, and the wind is blowing hard toward town, it will be hard to avoid disaster.
Here’s hoping the fighters succeed in containing the fire.