LaBrea Fire

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According to the latest Inciweb report, the LaBrea fire is now at close to 70,000 acres, and 10% contained. And according to the latest from Ray Ford in the Independent, the fire is “almost impossible” to contain.

Here’s the latest from MODIS, wrapped onto Google Earth, showing the fire’s advance in the direction of Santa Maria;


Note Tepusquet Peak, which stands out in the view east from Santa Maria. Here’s what the Independent said about the area in 2007:

The canyon of Tepusquet Peak is a very high risk area, Iskow said. Running down from the peak you can see very thick brush heavily covering the canyon, and it’s obvious a fire in that area could quickly lead to trouble. About 200 homes sit in the canyon or at the bottom. The area hasn’t had a fire in about 80 years, which means the brush is ripe fuel for fire.

Says Inciweb,

Structure protection crews worked in the Tepusquet and Pine Canyon areas, and along Foothill Road in Cuyama Valley. Firefighters continue to battle the blaze with all means at their disposal including the best tools, technology and equipment available. Fire behavior conditions are challenging due to a combination of extremely dense, old vegetation, bone dry fuels, and erratic winds. Tonight, firefighters will conduct burnout operations to strengthen the fireline from Rattlesnake Canyon southeast to Horse Canyon. They will hold and mop up fireline along Sierra Madre Road and the northern portion of the Treplett fuel break. They will continue fireline construction and burnout above Cuyama Valley. Structure protection will continue tonight in the Tepusquet and Pine Canyon areas, and along Foothill Road in Cuyama Valley. An evacuation order is in effect for all of Tepusquet Canyon, from Santa Maria Mesa Road to Highway 166, all of Colson and Ruiz Canyons…

If the fire reaches Tepusquet Peak itself, here are some of the facilities at risk:

During the Tea Fire in Santa Barbara, most of the stations on Gibraltar Peak were knocked off the air when their antennas were burned up. The Jesusita Fire burned the back side of the same peak, but I don’t think any stations went off that time.

Here’s KCOY on the fire in Tepesquet Canyon.

The station also has live streaming video from Tepesquet Peak. Windows Media only, however.

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The country behind Santa Barbara is burning again. This one is the LaBrea fire, east of Santa Maria. It has grown past 36,000 acres and is 10% contained. This is far north of the fire in Santa Barbara earlier this year. Still, it’s a big one.

Here’s a mashup of MODIS data with Google Earth:


The view is toward the east. The LaBrea Fire is on the left, on the north side, and the little dots along the coast on the right are visualizations of MODIS data from the height of the Jesusita Fire earlier this year. In the foreground along the coast is Vandenberg Air Force Base, plus lots of sand dunes, advancing southeastward.

Bonus link.

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