#Jesusitafire postpile for 7 May


I’ll post the rest of today’s observations here. Times are Pacific.

The LA Times has an excellent set of 53 photos that start here. 10:32am

Twitter search for #jesusita or #jesusitafire.

Listening to KTYD, where they’re reviewing the news conference I missed. (Hey, business goes on.) Lots of cooperation. All businesses on State Street are open. Free coffee for firefighters. They’re talking about Peets on Upper State Street, which is my main caffeine source when I’m in town. Lots of numbers about helicopters and planes. (They don’t know what kinds of planes do the dropping. They’re P3 Orions.) 1300 acres burned. 13000 people evacuated. Another 13000 warned. 26,000 total. 177 engines. 8 injuries. 3 burned, 1 smoke inhalation. 1700 personnel.

Talking to a firefighter, and his boss. Some concern about swirling winds, and the ability of the fixed wing airplanes to make drops. Six type two, other type ones. Helicopters, that is. (What are those?) 10:41am.

Interesting piece on wildfires in Wikipedia.

Why does Inciweb have nothing on the Jesusita fire? 10:53am

The Independent has an excellent and detailed report, including street addresses of some burned homes. Losses on Las Canoas, Montrose, Tunnel, Holly, Palomino.  Another here from Matt Kettman. Here is the paper’s Jesusita Fire page. Look through the whole list. It’s long and it’s good. 11:15am

The News-Press has some good photos. Will they scroll behind a paywall later? 11:17am

Just posted this map with notes in the Flickr pile. 11:35am

Here’s the latest from the Independent. Great report, as usual. 7:40pm

Just added the above map, with a link to this one, which has notes. 7:45pm

Spoke to two families, among our best friends in town. Both are leaving. Smoke is thick and shrouding the city. Ash falling everywhere. Flames appear to be moving west down toward 154 and threaten the houses south of that path. That’s above  Foothill west of Lauro Reservoir…  North Ontare (where there was action yesterday). Northridge. Barger Canyon Road. LaVista. All those head up canyons or ridges toward the mountains. San Antonio Creek and Canyon. 9:00pm

Listening back and forth between KTYD and KCLU. Good stuff from both. A caller to KTYD confirms that the fire has not jumped Highway 154. 9:04pm

John Palmintieri is calling in to KCLU. John is a local reporting workhorse, long a veteran on KEYT-TV and other stations. When we moved to Santa Barbara in ’01, he was the morning guy on the late local news station, KEYT/1250. KCLU has filled some of that gap, since buying the signal at 1340am. John says that the land burning now is mostly grassland, which burns quickly and dramatically, but isn’t as dangerous because it doesn’t drop embers at a distance. 9:18pm

An unconfirmed report on KTYD of the fire jumping west over 154. That area is now also under mandatory evacuation orders. West of 154, north of Cathedral Oaks. To Old San Marcos Road. This was an area evacuated for the Gap Fire as well. North of this was the large area burned by the Gap Fire, not long ago. 9:39pm



  1. katie’s avatar

    It is shocking that the news stations do not have live streaming video. Keyt has video downloads from the 5th. At a time when people may not be able to watch their TV, one would assume local stations would move into the 21st century.

  2. Doc Searls’s avatar

    KEYT finally came up with a fresh after-hours video at 3am.

    From their perch up there on the mesa they could just leave a camera pointed at Foothill/154 and let folks see what’s going on (smoke permitting).

    The problem is none of the broadcast outfits has a CMS (content management system) that’s worth a damn. They’re thick with promotion and thin on flexibility and Live Web functionality.

    I really like the Independent. Their Website is short on BS and long on substance. So is their coverage of the fire. Ray Ford alone should win something for his fire coverage over the past several years.

  3. Carl’s avatar

    I’m from San Luis Obispo and watch KSBY often as it is our local news station. I think the issue of less than helpful news coverage lies in the shift in news coverage from being a helpful service to being a business competing in a marketplace dominated by sensationalism and big headlines with little substantive content. Yet I’m not sure how much this should effect a local news station like KSBY who has little news competition in San Luis Obispo, unless they are trying to compete with daytime drama TV.

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Well, Carl, a few months have passed since the fire, and I have declined to add “local” to my satellite feed. Hey, maybe I’ll add it if we have another emergency; but in the meantime I don’t think we’re missing anything.

    The problem for stations like KSBY is less a matter of business-as-usual than of news-as-usual. It was amazing to watch KSBY’s live feed from a helicopter observing the fire. Here KSBY had a chance to tell the world — and especially Santa Barbara residents — what was happening on the ground, live, even when the reporter wasn’t on Channel 6 air. Instead we had two amazingly clueless guys talking about how “that must be the mayor’s house” (because it was getting a lot of attention from firefighters — it wasn’t, by the way), and going to the Elephant Bar after they went back for fuel. They knew nothing of the streets being burned, even though, presumably, they had a GPS on board the chopper. And the reporter had nothing to say beyond, essentially, “LOOK AT THAT FIRE BURNING THERE!” So, while it was cool of them to share the feed, it also exposed what’s utterly wrong about old-style news in an always-on world.

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