Zaca fire continues

Ray Ford has an excellent piece in the Independent on the .

The good news:

  With today’s morning fog — almost a misty drizzle — Paradise, Rosario Park and Camino Cielo residents can rest assured that the danger is over for them.

The bad news:

  By day’s end the fire had crossed almost the entire length of Buckhorn Road from Little Pine to Big Pine Mountain — more than a ten-mile section — causing the fire to expand dramatically into the Dick Smith Wilderness and, more ominously, towards Santa Barbara. What had been a relatively narrow fire confined to the deep interior of the backcountry now has more than twenty miles of uncontrolled fire line that now has multiple heads, with each posing its own threat.
  The Zaca Fire has not only moved into an entirely new phase, there is a potential for major fire growth, loss of huge chunks of habitat and a serious threat to the South Coast.

This map from the NewsPress shows the expanded fire perimeter. Not sure how it matches up with the Independent’s report. The official maps are at InciWeb, which is down as I write this.

It’s frustrating to follow this from the other side of the country. I’m listening right now to “The Baron” Ron Herron on AM 1290, the News-Press station. There’s a link to the stream on the NewsPress home page. Even live coverage is locked behind a subscriber paywall, however. And the station itself has no webpage, which is inexcusable for a news station.

KTMS is back to being “AM 990”. I guess they’re still also on 1490 and have decided not to sell off the 990 signal. But there’s nothing live on the site. No streams. Dennis Miller (yes, that one) is on right now. He’s actually a good morning man. You can subscribe to the show for $49.95/year. Podcasts are free, it appears. Dennis lives in Montecito, the thoroughly wooded town that comprises the East End of Santa Barbara.

Now The Barron is reading news from this morning’s paper. This has been the routine since AM 1290 went on the air a couple years ago. The news station itself has no apparent news staff. The station just ran CNN news, and is now running BBC World Service. Not exactly Local Stuff.

It’s going on a month since I wrote Lighting a fire for public radio in Santa Barbara. Nothing much has changed since then, other than the urgency.

I won’t be back in town until after the 15th. If we still have a house, and a town, it would be good to meet and talk about the possibilities. A number of people have written me with support for getting the ball rolling. If you want to add to that number, say so in the comments below, or send an email to (my first hame)@(my last name).com.


  1. Winkie Lennihan’s avatar

    Thankyou for your article. We live in Montecito and are very worried about the fire and the lack of info available on 1290–about as good as the paper itself.
    Please do whatever you can to improve the situation!!

  2. Carol’s avatar

    Thanks for the info… Sad that Pine Mtn. is prolly burnt! 🙁

    Although this has us a little bit nervous (I live near Matilja Cyn. near Ojai), I’m glad to find some info, as‘s site has been down since yesterday morning (8-8-07) I haven’t seen really any useful info on KEYT (local channel 3) or the local radio stations either. (Last year, the local cable Time-Warner did a great job of keeping us informed in the Ojai Valley.)

    For others that find this site, there is a meeting at the Matilja Jr. High School, 730 El Paseo Road @ 7pm on 10-10-07 & another…

    Two informational meetings on the Zaca Fire will be held on Saturday August 11 in the Lebec/Frazier Park area. At 12 noon a meeting will be held at the Pine Mountain Club, 2534 Beechwood Way and at 3pm at the Frazier Mountain High School, 700 Falcon Way, Lebec (from )

  3. Cathy  R’s avatar

    Yesterday I was up at Cold Spring Tavern @ HWY 154. Yes it was open & serving food & drink. My point being that there was a map onsite of the fire situation and forestry & firemen stopping by to fill us in and give out more info. The scale of this operation is amazing when you get to talking details with these guys. (They have showers, food & laundry facilites set up… thinks about it…Lots of very dirty clothes I’m sure!) I saw another map set up like this a few weeks back down in Los Olivos. There must be a set up like this over in the Montecito area, maybe Ojai too. Ask around.

    I was also told by the firemen yesterday that there are live telephone operators waiting to answer questions. I’m assuming that was the phone # given as (805) 961-5770. Worth a try …

  4. Laura’s avatar

    Heartily second your desire for improved local news. There are actually many free news resources regarding the Zaca fire for those with computer access. The Newspress however is lacking. I e-mailed their website administrator last week to encourage free access to their Zaca fire-related content as this event concerns local health and safety issues. Followed up with a phone call as I didn’t receive a reply. Last I checked, some of their Zaca-related articles are accessible for free, however, information such as the locations of Zaca information kiosks remains restricted to paying customers.

    Re: the Newspress radio station, glad they’re airing BBC much of the day and night, but canned 5 min repititions of local news just doesn’t cut it.

    Montecitans may wish to log on to MERRAG.COM (Montecito Emergency Response and Recovery Action Group). MERRAG is a volunteer group that works in cooperation with Montecito Fire District to assist in response and recovery work during the critical first 48 hours of a local disaster. The website has Zaca specific news bulletins, information regarding emergency preparedness and links.

  5. RW’s avatar

    Sunday morning
    Because of the size and location, this fire is painfully referred to locally as the “Day-ja-vu” fire, with reference to last year’s “Day” fire. It is interesting to note the way a fire of this size is “managed”. Many smaller fires are attacked directly, but one this size is managed in stages, and success comes by carefully planned containment. This morning, the fire sits at just over 180,000 acres. If fire services are successful with their primary containment line, they will gain the upper hand at about the 250,000 acre level. Saturday was a successful day for backfires, with cooperating weather conditions. Fortunately, much of the smoke from the fire has risen to high altitude, so at this point air quality in local communities is tolerable, if not rather good. However, on Thursday a couple of joggers were seen in Ojai running at a good clip, but both with masks (gas mask type) on! 🙂 Let’s hope that today’s weather continues to cooperate.

  6. tom sheridan’s avatar

    8 20 2007 7:30pm
    I live in Anaheim, Orange County and I can see the red orange sky (sunset) and smell very light smoke they expect containment of the fire by 9 7 2007, but that is not likely to happen; I would say by 9 28 2007 because there will be smoldering flames in the under brush ready to flare again.

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