Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

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Update by edhat staff
9:00 a.m., October 20, 2021

The Alisal Fire is now 97% contained at 17,281 acres. There were 12 residences destroyed, 1 residence damaged, and 1 other structure damaged.

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.

On Tuesday, crews focused on Droppoint 40 on the fire’s northwest corner where ridge tops continued to hold heat in the oak woodland understory. Firefighters increased depth on containment lines to the north and completely secured the fire’s edge to the east along the old Sherp Fire burn. Motorists are reminded to err on the side of caution when transiting California Highway 101 as firefighters continue to monitor the fire’s southern edge. Firefighters mopped up and secured the last section of heat to the southwest around canyons around the Cañada Del Molino. 

For today [Wednesday], overall fire activity continues to diminish due to increased humidity. Fire suppression efforts have transitioned to repair. Infrared imaging indicates fuels continue to hold some heat remaining near Droppoint 40, so today’s priority is to secure that last edge of the fire above the Arroyo Hondo to the northwest. Firefighters continue to maintain the fire within the current footprint.  

A slight warming and drying trend is anticipated through Thursday. Cooler weather is forecasted from Friday through the weekend, with a chance of some light showers on Friday and Saturday. Expect more significant rainfall by late Sunday into Monday, which could potentially cause mud and debris flows on roads within the fire perimeter.

Evacuations: 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.

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.

Closures: 

Los Padres National forest has issued a closure of the Santa Barbara Ranger District in the area surrounding the fire. The closure expires Nov. 16, 2021. A map highlighting the closed area is at www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf.  

Acre Size: Estimated 17,281 acres

Containment: 97%

Structures Affected: 12 residences destroyed, 1 residence damaged, and 1 other structure damaged


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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John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 10:22 PM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

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
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

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

John Wiley Oct 13, 2021 11:31 PM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

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 14, 2021 12:45 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

That one at IZA shut down again after maybe 15 minutes and N261CG at SBA is still not active. Maybe they won't do night ops after all.

EastBeach Oct 14, 2021 12:02 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

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
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

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.

yiannis93101 Oct 14, 2021 09:01 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

Hey cal fire or whoever…..it’s 9am and according to flight aware, there are no firefighting aircraft in the air yet!!! Why not?! They should have been flying at sunrise!! If this were Malibu or Beverly Hills they’d be in the air already!!! What, the Goleta area doesn’t count and we’re just supposed to breath smoke?
Get to work.

John Wiley Oct 14, 2021 09:30 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

I wonder if sometimes they let an inner hotspot burn, like the one making a small plume right now. In low wind situations like this, it could be the best move. With so little smoke and no major wind, maybe they're in mop up mode. Since air attack can't fully extinguish smouldering spots, the ground crews are probably going to be at it for a week. I wonder if they'll use the IR helos or drone to map the main targets for them, and only do a few small precision drops today. Anyway, my apologies to E.B. & Yiannis for mixing up your handles.

FondofSB Oct 14, 2021 09:32 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

Yannis : California does not have any appropriate fleet of fire fighting aircraft.
It is a criminal disgrace.
And when I write, in this post , that it is more than time to GET ONE , most comments I get are : "It's too expensive " ; "they couldn't fly" ;
Unfortunately most people do not seem to care. They would rather see tens of billions going up in flame every year than ask themselves and their elected official : "Can't we do BETTER than what we do ? And HOW can we do it ?".
Nothing will change, former governor announced, during the Thomas fire that : "This is the new NORMAL" and nobody took him up on that !

sacjon Oct 14, 2021 09:35 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

FOND - what planes would you suggest CA obtains? Do we need more? Different types? Please lay out your plan for beefing up our "inappropriate" fire fighting fleet.

FondofSB Oct 14, 2021 09:43 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

25 of the biggest version of the "bombardier" , spread them in squadrons of 5 in 5 different Ca location (up and down the state) keep them full and on standby and as soon as a fire starts somewhere request the 2 most nearby squadrons for additional help and within a half hour you have 15 planes which, given the number of lakes (or ocean) nearby can make 5 minutes rotations to dump their plane loads !
Compare that to the sadly amateurish approach current used !

SantaBarbaraObserver Oct 14, 2021 10:56 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

Hey Fond. Can you please focus your genius on eradicating the Covid19 virus, obtaining peace in the Middle East , nuclear fusion and the elimination of cancer too?

Since you're so much smarter than the millions of people who spend their lives studying and actually doing these things we need you to come to our rescue and solve all these seemingly unsolvable problems. You can get together with Nostrachumash and form a team. Since he's solved homelessness and the drought and you've solved fire suppression. Thanks!

FondofSB Oct 14, 2021 11:10 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

S.B.Observer : You're obviously delighted with the way fires are currently fought in CA, right ?
How many deaths so far this year ? How long did the Dixie fire burn ? How about the 1 Million acres up in flame just there and the 1400 destroyed house ? Pleased with the way it's going ? The new "normal" for you ?
Let's just keep going this amateurish way and not TRY anything else , right ?

FondofSB Oct 14, 2021 04:15 PM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

Sacjon : Those planes are perfectly fine for flying such missions : this is exactly what and how they were built for. They are used for this purpose, with success, in many European countries ..

a-1634241587 Oct 14, 2021 12:59 PM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

LA Fire Department evaluation of the CL-415 aircraft:

http://wildfirenews.com/fire/articles/cl415.html

There is now a CL-515, but many of the same concerns remain.

John Wiley Oct 14, 2021 01:36 PM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

I wonder what's changed since that 1998 article. Amphibs have some drawbacks along with their advantages. First off, water and aluminum don't mix well from an aircraft maintenance standpoint - especially salt water. Then there's the relatively long takeoff and landing space required, taking into account terrain and trees around the water and random people or debris on the water. There's some interesting info on the wiki, including this: "Out of the 95 CL-415s built, 11 have been destroyed in the following accidents" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadair_CL-415#Operators

GeneralTree Oct 14, 2021 08:23 PM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

If we all saved our urine in little jars and stacked them up around the house - It could be made into potable water and given to the bombardier forces to attack the fire in hurricane winds. We may also consider negotiating with Oprah to buy her water at cost - and maybe she will throw in some military planes.

NostraChumash Oct 15, 2021 08:19 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

I didn't solve the drought..
Only the homeless issue that you can't seem to tackle.
It's not too late to run for Mayor ya know..

John Wiley Oct 14, 2021 09:39 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

Good to see the Sikorsky S-61 join the Skycrane & Huey. Looks like the Skycrane's working that hotspot with the plume showing on the SY webam, and the spotters over the Gaviota end may mean we'll see the jets go at that area again.

John Wiley Oct 14, 2021 09:47 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

There's a Chinook working the North side hotspot with the other two choppers, and another Chinook powered up at IZA. One of the spotters and the Huey are at the West end, but no indications yet there's fixed wing coming.

John Wiley Oct 14, 2021 10:26 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

You can get a sense of how tall that plume is right now, from the Pt. Conception cam: - http://api.nvseismolab.org/camera/Axis-Dangermond1?

John Wiley Oct 14, 2021 11:49 AM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

Gaviota end has cooled, judging by the lower plume as viewed from Pt.Conc. Both DC10s are active at SMX, along with the other fixed wing. Given the lines laid down at Gav.Pass yesterday and lighter wind now, maybe they can knock the West end down today.

Minibeast Oct 14, 2021 12:10 PM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

JOHN WILEY: Thank you for your timely updates. I don't get why Edhat is 24 hours behind. It's tremendously reassuring to have you reporting detailed and current facts.

John Wiley Oct 14, 2021 12:22 PM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

Thanks Mini and others who've offered feedback. With a fairly good view of the mountains, I enjoy monitoring and exploring new ways to do that. Not much extra effort to share what I find, and hope it's helpful for others who're seeking current info on what's happening. As for Edhat, I heard once that the name is an acronym for Events, D...(forget what that letter was for - Discussion maybe?), and Happenings Around Town. IMO they do an amazing job on a shoestring budget, and are well worth the tiny ongoing subscription cost. Other volunteers like me add a lot too, by sending info & pix to Ed. When it's not off the rails, the Discussion can be interesting and informative too. Thank you, Edhat team! :)

John Wiley Oct 14, 2021 12:23 PM
Alisal Fire 97% Contained at 17,281 Acres

Just came across Soar as another sat image source. I like their shot of the fire yesterday: - https://soar.earth/?pos=34.49864664048077%2C-120.13841376295119%2C13

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