Gap Fire, 4am on 4 July

The above is the latest from These are updated every hour. Download the .kmz and you’ll have what I show above on Google Earth. Details:

The data links below provide access to MODIS MOD14 fire and thermal anomaly data in both a Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Keyhole Markup Language (KML) format for each specified geographic area. Both the WMSes and KMLs are updated hourly.

What’s new here, and very consistent with Ray Ford’s report below, are the red spots spreading in all directions from the fire’s origins and earlier dimensions (other colors). Note the new red ones on the right, or east. They are very close to Painted Cave, which is on the east side of highway 154. Painted Cave is currently under mandatory evacuation orders.

Bear in mind that winds are currently from the northwest, and quite gusty. The conditions are very much like those that prevailed during the Painted Cave fire, almost exactly eighteen years ago.Read the story at that link. We had friends over to the house last night. They barely escaped the Painted Cave fire, and said that the look of the smoke last night was nearly identical to what they saw during Painted Cave.

More than six hundred homes were lost in that one.

[Later…] at 7:50am the skies look clear to the west. Between this picture and story at Noozhawk (using this among other pictures by Tim Burgess) and this story at the Independent — and nothing so far on the radio (that I can find) — it looks like the winds blew the fire in a westward direction overnight, which is good for Santa Barbara, though not for the houses and ranches to the west.


  1. James Lick’s avatar

    I really appreciate the frequent updates in the middle of the night your time. I’m anxiously watching the situation from Taiwan and hoping my Dad’s house above North Patterson is OK.

  2. Shawn Powers’s avatar

    Be safe Doc, our prayers are with you.

  3. Joe McDonald’s avatar

    damn i hope this doesn’t turn into something like the painted cave fire! I was there for that fire and it was scary stuff, once it gathered steam it came down to the 101 FAST. I pray that doesn’t happen this time. think “no wind” “no wind” “no wind”.

  4. David Weinberger’s avatar

    May the winds blow away from danger. Good luck, Doc.

  5. Steve Bruce’s avatar

    I grew up on Patterson Ave in Goleta. The fires happen somewhere in California every year. I suggest, being the peaceful guy that I am, that our country position an aircraft carrier off shore equipped to bomb fires. This might assist the people in America who could use an army, navy, marine, air force of “service men and women” here at home.

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