Driving through the Tea Fire – Montecito

Winds were relatively light, today, and on shore. Air support was really working it. Six fixed wing, ten helicopters, and Big Daddy. 

state-street-tea-fire

This gives you perspective about where the fire is in relation to town.

helicopters-tea-fireThis was taken from the 101 Freeway, near downtown Santa Barbara. As I listened to the radio describe a retardant drop, I was watching the same action. Unfortunately, I couldn’t photograph it and drive at the same time.

I managed to tune into a local Santa Barbara station just outside of Buellton, and listened all the way to Malibu. Firefighting teams and air support were really getting a handle on it today, while they could. Although sundowners are expected to pick up tonight, they are not predicted to be as forceful as they were last night. There were no new evacuations listed during the day, and none lifted. No containment figures given, either, and a public briefing is to be given at 4 pm.

I did see USFS Engine 33 leaving Santa Barbara, headed south at around Carpenteria. I am still trying to figure that one out.

The Tea Fire had burned 2,000 to 2,500 acres, and damaged or destroyed approximately 100 homes by 9:20 this morning, according to the County of Santa Barbara Emergency Operations Center.

By 4:00 this afternoon the number of homes lost could be closer to 200, though the count won’t be known for another day to day-and-a-half, according to Santa Barbara Fire Chief Ron Prince. “This has been a devastating fire over the last 22 hours,” he said.

Tea Fire, Montecito

6a00d8341c4f1a53ef010535ee0565970b

“My brother is a musician and lives less than 2 miles south of the fire , he has lost power here is a picture he just took beforehand , feel free to post it on your blog, or to fwd it to news agencies , his name is Justin Fox, of the band Tripdavon. (Jason Fox, Seattle WA)”

I’ll be driving through the area today, assuming 101 stays open, and will offer a report, if I can see anything from the highway. I would imagine that traffic will be quite heavy, considering all the roads closed in the area due to the fire. I will be taking my laptop, and camera, so will have the tools of the modern blogger at my disposal.

I can’t believe I will be going through fire again! What is it about 2008, fires, and me?