All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

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Update by edhat staff
7:00 p.m., October 17, 2021

The Alisal Fire is now 78% contained at 17,254 acres. Gaviota, Refugio, and El Capitan State Beaches/Campgrounds will remain closed until October 24 while firefighting personnel utilizes them for staging, housing, and access.

All Evacuation Orders and Warnings for the Alisal Fire have now been canceled.

The Evacuation Order for the area west of Arroyo Hondo to intersection of Hwy 101 and Hwy 1, the Arroyo Hondo Canyon and Refugio Canyon, and the area between El Capitan Beach State Park and West Camino Cielo has been cancelled. Take caution when returning home as emergency personnel remain in the area.

Southern California Edison (SCE) is in the process of replacing power poles and will continue inspections via helicopters throughout the week. This area is restricted to residents only. Others without proof of residency or official business in the area may be cited by law enforcement. More information is available on ReadySBC.org.

Evacuations: Canceled

Click here to access the Interactive Evacuation Map.

The Evacuation Center at Dos Pueblos High School has been put on a warm/standby status. Evacuees needing assistance can contact the American Red Cross at (833) 583-3111. For animal evacuation assistance, call (805) 681-4332.

Traffic Closures: None

Acre Size: Estimated 17,254 acres

Containment: 78%

Structures Threatened: 439 structures have been threatened, 3 residences and 2 other out buildings destroyed.


Update by edhat staff
8:00 a.m., October 17, 2021

Today's main priority is to contain patches of heat remaining to the northwest edge of the fire. Crews will also focus on holding the rest of the fire’s footprint. Crews will continue to use aviation assets as conditions allow.  

Onshore flow will strengthen across the area, bringing cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity. Southerly and up-valley winds will prevail through today with gusts around 20 mph. Later this evening and into tomorrow, a dry cold front will sweep across the area, delivering even cooler temperatures and higher humidity. It will, however, also bring strong northwest to north winds to the fire with gusts up to 25-35 mph.

On Saturday, warm temperatures mixed with very dry and windy conditions resulted in an increase in isolated fire activity. A spot fire approximately an acre and a half popped up outside a retardant line on the northwestern corner. Firefighters immediately contained it with dozer and hand lines while aircraft doused it with water. Crews mopped up containment lines near Reagan Ranch.

Young fuels left behind by the 2016 Sherpa Fire have lent themselves to steady progress to the east, where rugged terrain pose challenges to firefighters and their heavy equipment. Along California 101 — which reopened Oct. 14 — firefighters fortified containment and continued mop-up efforts. Motorists along Hwy 101 are encouraged to give firefighters and their equipment wide berth when passing.

Additionally, on the northeastern corner, an area less than an acre slopped over the perimeter, but crews constructed handline and flanked hose around it to stop fire activity. 

Evacuations:

The Evacuation Warning for the area west of Highway 101, including Gaviota Beach and Hollister Ranch properties, has been cancelled. Take caution when returning home as emergency personnel remain in the area. Stay alert to changing conditions.

Gaviota, Refugio, and El Capitan State Beaches/Campgrounds will remain closed until October 24 while firefighting personnel utilize them for staging, housing, and access.

The Evacuation ORDER remains in place at this time. 

  • Evacuation Order still in effect: area west of Arroyo Hondo to intersection of Hwy 101 and Hwy 1. Evacuation order still in effect for Arroyo Hondo Canyon, Refugio Canyon, and the area between El Capitan Beach State Park and West Camino Cielo.

Click here to access the Interactive Evacuation Map.

The Evacuation Center at Dos Pueblos High School has been put on a warm/standby status. Evacuees needing assistance can contact the American Red Cross at (833) 583-3111. For animal evacuation assistance, call (805) 681-4332.

Update by edhat staff
6:15 p.m., October 16, 2021

The Alisal Fire has now burned 17,253 acres and is now 53% contained. As of Saturday evening, the evacuation warning for the area west of Highway 101, including Gaviota Beach and Hollister Ranch properties, has been cancelled. The evacuation order is still in effect and the evacuation center at Dos Pueblos High School is on standby.

This afternoon, warm and very dry and windy conditions resulted in increased activity on the Alisal Fire. A spot fire popped up on the other side of the retardant line on the northwestern corner, which is approximately an acre and a half in size. Firefighters responded with aircraft dropping water on it. Additionally, on the northeastern corner there was an area less than an acre that slopped out of the perimeter, but it has been lined and has hose completely around it.


Update by edhat staff
7:00 a.m., October 16, 2021

On Friday, fire crews contained isolated fire activity near Camino Cielo caused by higher temperatures and reduced humidity. Along the northern edge of the fire, helicopters dowsed heat with water using super scoopers. Crews mopped up and cold-trailed areas to the east near the old Sherpa Fire burn scar where much of the fire is going out on its own. Along California 101 — which reopened Oct. 14 — firefighters fortified containment and continued mop-up efforts. Motorists along Hwy 101 can expect to see firefighting equipment and vehicles and are encouraged to drive cautiously as crews continue work here. Helicopters attacked the fire into the night to the east near Gaviota. 

For today (Saturday), the main priority is to contain patches of heat remaining along the northern edge of the fire. Crews will also continue to focus on maintaining the rest of the fire’s footprint and ensure the fire holds where it has been contained. Crews will continue to use aviation assets as conditions allow.  

Warm and dry conditions will continue through Saturday. On Sunday, a pattern change will occur as a dry cold front approaches the area. Expect cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity on Sunday. The dry cold front will pass over the incident Sunday night and Monday morning, bringing even cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity. However, the passage of the cold front will bring some strong northwest to north winds to the area on Monday with forecasted gusts up to 25-35 mph. 


Update by edhat staff
7:00 p.m., October 15, 2021

The Alisal Fire stands at 16,901 acres burned and is now 41% contained with Highway 101 fully reopened in both directions. 439 structures have been threatened, 3 residences and 2 other out buildings destroyed.

There are 1,731 total personnel on the scene and the estimated date of full containment is Monday, October 25.

On Thursday, fire crews made significant progress resulting in the reopening of Highway 101 and the Union Pacific Railroad. Both had been shut down as a result of the fire’s spread. Firefighters began to mop-up around much of the fire, including Camino Cielo, Refugio Canyon and along Highway 101.

Evacuation Order Update

Evacuation Order for residences along Arroyo Quemada Ln, & Evacuation Warning for area east of El Capitan Beach Park, west of Dos Pueblos Canyon Rd, & south of West Camino Cielo has been cancelled. Take caution returning home as emergency personnel remain in the area.


Photo: Mike Eliason / SBCFD

Firefighters “mop-up” after the fire has been controlled by extinguishing or removing burning material near the control line. Crews secured the perimeter along Reagan Ranch and Refugio Canyon. Hot shot crews also began to cold trail areas along the old Sherpa Fire burn scars, which is a method of controlling a partly dead fire edge by carefully inspecting with the hand for heat to detect any fire. And along Hwy 101, crews removed hazard trees, while helicopters engaged the fire’s edge. The public is reminded to drive cautiously on Hwy 101 as crews continue to monitor the area. Last night, firefighters responded to isolated fire activity on the western most portion of the fire. 

For today [Friday], the priorities will be to secure the fire’s eastern edge along the old Sherpa Fire burn scar, address the western portion near the Cañada San Onofre, and ensure the fire holds where it has been contained. Crews will continue to use aviation assets as conditions allow.  

Winds are the primary force behind fire growth. Expect winds to switch back and forth from a northerly to southerly direction throughout the day with gusts up to 20 mph. Wind switches, warm temperatures and decreasing humidity combined have the potential to increase fire activity. Strong down sloping winds will continue to impact fire behavior over the next several days. 

Expanded Evacuation Orders

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management – the office managing evacuations — issued a new Evacuation Order and Evacuation Warning Oct. 13 at 11:45 p.m.  

  • Evacuation Order: For the area west of Arroyo Hondo to the intersection of Hwy 101 and Hwy 1, including Vista Del Mar School and Gaviota Beach.  

  • Evacuation Warning: Additional evacuation warning for all properties within Hollister Ranch area.  

Evacuations:

  • Evacuation Order UPDATE 10/13/2021 at 11:45PM: for the area west of Arroyo Hondo to intersection of Hwy 101 and Hwy 1, including Vista Del Mar School and Gaviota Beach. Evacuation order still in effect for Arroyo Hondo Canyon, Refugio Canyon, and the area between El Capitan Beach State Park and West Camino Cielo.  Please leave the area immediately.
  • Evacuation Warning: UPDATE 10/13/2021 at 11:45PM – Additional evacuation warning for all properties within Hollister Ranch area. Warning still in effect for the area east of El Capitan Beach State Park, west of Dos Pueblos Canyon Rd, and south of West Camino Cielo. Be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.      

Update by edhat staff
7:00 p.m., October 14, 2021

The Alisal Fire stands at 16,801 acres burned and 11% containment. Highway 101 reopened in both directions at 6:00 p.m. Thursday.

A new evacuation order was implemented late Wednesday that expands west, including Gaviota & Gaviota Beach.

The estimated date of full containment is Monday, October 25.

On Wednesday, fire crews held the fire to the north along West Camino Cielo. They completed a successful burnout operation from Refugio Road to the Camino Cielo. The fire also slowed along its eastern flank in the younger fuels from the 2016 Sherpa Fire. Winds drove the fire westward forcing evacuations west of Arroyo Hondo to the intersection of California Highway 101 and Highway 1 towards Gaviota. 


Photo: Mike Eliason / SBCFD

The plan for today (Thursday), will be to halt the spread to the northeast above Refugio Canyon. Crews will continue to use aviation assets as conditions allow. On the western edge, firefighters will work on keeping the fire from crossing Hwy 101 at Gaviota. Focus will be on slowing the fire’s expansion to the west and re-opening Hwy 101. Crews continue to engage the Refugio area, as well as clearing downed trees along rail lines. Additional aircraft will amplify efforts beginning today. 

Winds are the primary force behind fire growth. Expect wind-swithes throughout the day. Northeast winds switch to westerly in the afternoon and back to northeast in the evening.  Strong down sloping winds will continue to impact fire behavior over the next several evenings. 

 

 

 


Update by edhat staff
1:30 p.m., October 13, 2021

Highway 101 is still closed in both directions and evacuation orders remain. The highest priority of fire officials is to open Highway 101 and the railway along with protecting the Tajiguas Landfill, oil production facilities, and state parks.

Aircraft is making drops on the north end of the fire but is unable to make drops on the flanks due to high winds. The winds have gusted to up to 70 mph and were able to push the fire from West Camino Cielo to the ocean in 3.5 hours. The winds can shift from sundowners to a diurnal pattern which can change the direction of the fire and is a dangerous factor for firefighters.

Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig stated they expect to see a "see-sawing" behavior of the fire as the offshore winds will push it up further into the canyons and we can expect to see fire crews in this area for months to come.

On Wednesday evening, fire command will be transferred to the Federal Government's Type 1 Incident Management Team with a 58 personnel leadership team overseeing operations.


Photo: Mike Eliason / SBCFD


Having jumped the four lanes of Highway 101, flames continue to burn early Tuesday morning along the Gaviota Coast. (Photo: Mike Eliason / SBCFD)


Update by edhat staff
5:30 p.m., October 11, 2021

Alisal Fire: Highway 101 will be closed between Hwy 1 and Winchester/Cathedral Oaks in both directions.  Fire is approaching the freeway.

The California Highway Patrol Incident Page is reporting motorists are leaving their cars and walking to the beach as well as motorists bypassing the highway closure and driving in the wrong direction to get out of the area.


Alisal Fire (Photo by AD)

 


Update by Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management
5:00 p.m., October 11, 2021

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has issued an Evacuation Order for the area of Arroyo Hondo Canyon and Refugio Canyon west of Goleta due to a wildfire.  This area includes Refugio State Beach. Please leave the area immediately.  Click here to access the Interactive Evacuation Map.

  • For animal evacuation assistance, call 805-681-4332.
  • A Temporary Evacuation Point (TEP) will be established at the Dos Pueblos High School upper parking lot at 7266 Alameda Ave, Goleta, CA 93117.  Evacuees can go to this location to get information from personnel on site.


By Scanner Andrew
2:30 p.m., October 11, 2021

Firefighters are making access to a vegetation fire that has started somewhere off of Refugio Road, south of Alisal Lake.

Live at #AlisalFire https://t.co/gwbVAZDOYH

— SB Scanner (@SBIncidents) October 11, 2021

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EastBeach Oct 14, 2021 12:02 AM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

John your link is for the GOES-East (aka GOES-16) satellite. GOES-West (aka GOES-17) has a better orbit to see the pacific southwest. "GeoColor" during the day and "Fire Temperature" at night .... https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/goes/sector.php?sat=G17&sector=psw

John Wiley Oct 14, 2021 12:43 AM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

Thanks E.B. I hadn't noticed that was from my old bookmark back before 17 came online. The weak IR signal looks about the same as before, but daylight smoke will tell us a lot about the many likely smouldering areas.

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 11:31 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

I heard them too, and both seem to be fire attack helicopters. The first came in from Camarillo and the second from Chino. They're at the SBA helipads and hopefully waiting for the forecast 1am end of moderate gusty winds, to begin night operations on the fire. :D

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 10:22 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

The satellite IR detection within the last hour was so faint I almost missed it. Guess it would be worth checking hourly to see if they're able to make progress tonight. Here's the latest - https://cdn.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES16/ABI/SECTOR/psw/FireTemperature/20212870456_GOES16-ABI-psw-FireTemperature-2400x2400.jpg

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 10:28 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

It's the InfraRed link on GOES-E labeled Fire Temperature on this page of SW views: - https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES/sector.php?sat=G16&sector=psw

Shasta Guy Oct 13, 2021 09:17 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

The latest National Fire Situational Awareness Map now shows a lone fire detect about 1/4 mile north of West Camino Cielo. Hopefully they can get a strike team on it before it gets out of hand.

https://maps.nwcg.gov/sa/#/%3F/%3F/34.5213/-120.0948/14

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 06:00 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

Looks like helicopters are working hard on an area up Refugio Rd. Maybe where that theater ranch (Circle Bar B?) is. Anyone have info on whether it's damaged? All the jets are down right now, maybe for the night. The sat fire detections are still showing 7, but it's probably changed for better or worse by now. Seems to have shifted from large flame fronts and massive hotspots, to countless relatively cool smoking and smouldering areas. Best bet for a sense of what's happening other than any ground reports might be the SY Peak webcam that does well looking toward the sun - http://api.nvseismolab.org/camera/Axis-SantaYnezPeakWest2

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 06:06 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

Two big SH-3 helicopters are working an area just South of the ridge with water from Alisal. Looks like two of the smaller choppers working that upper Refugio Rd area are getting water from one of the Reagan Ranch ponds. Anyway, I'm logging out for now and plan to stay indoors with air filter cranking. Here's hoping we get through this windy period and see containment increase.

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 04:04 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

The latest NFS satellite fire detection site shows what a dramatic difference this full-on air attack has had on the fire. The number of fire heat spot detections is WAY down, and the jets are presumably all dropping PhosChek so containment should be a lot easier for ground crews with helicopters doing water drops. If winds allow, those drops can be amazingly precise as we've seen in some TV video of drops. We have some incredibly good pilots working all these aircraft and helicopters to thank for this fire not having engulfed Goleta by now. The sat fire site in case you don't have it is - https://maps.nwcg.gov/sa/#/%3F/%3F/34.4933/-120.1093/13

SBSand Oct 13, 2021 05:59 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

Thank you so much John for your posts! I keep coming to check for your updates, they are giving me hope that I can open up my windows again soon.

I hope that there haven't been a lot of structures burned, hard to know with it being wind-driven like it's been and dangerous to access those areas but with how bad it has smelled at some points I think that we are going to hear some bad news.

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 04:26 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

Aerial ballet with jet, turboprop and piston fixed wing in close proximity to helicopters - and it's all happening safely. ATC is the aircraft circling highest above it all. What a grand demonstration of expertise this is to behold.

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 03:57 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

For reference, San Bernardino is SBD and the Lancaster air attack base is at William J. Fox airport WJF. SMX is Santa Maria, IZA is Santa Ynez, PRB is Paso Robles, and we all know where SBA is. ;)

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 03:53 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

DC9 inbound from Landcaster to join the DC10 now circling and the three BAes working it. As of a few minutes ago the other DC10 was still in San Bernardino.

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 03:39 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

Helicopters are most or all at IZA now, the King Air spotter just took off from there (maybe refuel and/or crew change?), and the DC10 tanker 914 is inbound over Solvang.

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 03:12 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

DC10 Painted a line in the same area, along the L.P. border line. Now a 1995 Boeing 737-3H4 is eyeballing the same area. Looks like they're wanting to lock in the North edge, maybe because that's easiest in current wind conditions?

SBZZ Oct 13, 2021 02:21 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

The winds blowing from the north helped to keep the fire on this side of the mountain. Looks like the weak cold front moving through the Northwest will kick up the northerly winds later today, but then by tomorrow PM this wind event should be over. Hopefully they will be able to open 101 soon. In the meantime - breathe easy!

Shasta Guy Oct 13, 2021 01:52 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

SEABIRD, No per the National Fire Situational Awareness map, crews have done a great job keeping the fire from slopping over the north side of West Camino Cielo:

https://maps.nwcg.gov/sa/#/%3F/%3F/34.5115/-120.0832/13

Shasta Guy Oct 13, 2021 01:16 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

Windy.com shows a steady wind directly from the West. Alisal Fire smoke will be in everyone’s face soon. My N95 masks are in the other car. We got them so we could hike in Northern California while it was inundated with Dixie Fire smoke back in August.

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 01:22 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

It's happening now. Here on the West edge of SB the mountains are fading quickly, due to increased smoke in the air. Wind is almost directly from the West, so everything from the fire is headed to town. AQI readings will lag what's happening. NWS micro forecast is for winds to get strong and gusty by 5pm at the DP Ranch reservoir on the eastern edge of the fire, so we'll need to stay alert for both fire and smoke.

dukemunson Oct 13, 2021 01:08 PM
All Evacuation Orders Canceled for Alisal Fire

It only took 19 months, but there is finally a reason for an outside mask mandate… wear those masks ! The air quality really sucks right now!!!

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