Where most of my earlier shots in this series were of fire detection and spread across time, the one above (and in the larger linked shot, on Flickr) is of “fire radiative power”. If you look at the whole set, you can get an idea of both intensity and spread across time. Again, these are from MODIS, which is an instrument system on satellites passing more than 700km overhead. Still, it finds stuff, and dates it. That’s why this next shot is very encouraging:
It will sure spread some more, but we can see the end coming. Here’s the whole photo set.
And here’s the latest update on exactly what burned (addresses and all) from Matt Kettmann (Contact), Sam Kornell , Chris Meagher (Contact), Ben Preston (Contact), Ethan Stewart (Contact) of the Independent.
They also issue a caution:
The bad news is that the fire still threatens parts of Goleta to the west, the Painted Cave community to the north, and, to the east, parts of Santa Barbara and Montecito, where the evacuation order was just extended once again.
Those Indy folks did — and are still doing — an outstanding job, deserving of whatever rewards are coming their way. Great work by everybody else reporting on the fire as well. Kudos all around.
And great work, of course, by the firefighters. They saved the city. If you’ve ever seen a fire this big and threatening (for example, Oakland, which I did see, and which took out more than 3500 homes), you know how hard it is to stop. Around 80 homes were lost in this one. It could have been many more. If Cheltenham, or the Riviera, had gone up, and the sundowner winds kept blowing, it’s not hard to imagine losing the whole city, since the rain of flaming debris would have caused a true firestorm. From the same Indy report:
“The firefighters must have sat in every single backyard and held it off. The fire reached literally the backyards of every single one of them, but I didn’t see a single house burned up there.”
The mountains won’t be as pretty for a couple of years. But the city will also be safer. That’s the upside. 2:54pm Pacific
Here is a great map that shows all three fires in the last year, as well as good information about the ongoing Jesusita Fire.