History of Santa Barbara Fires

History of Santa Barbara Fires title=
History of Santa Barbara Fires
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The Thomas Fire is just one of the many fires to hit the Santa Barbara area. Since 1990, we've seen 13 significant fires in the southern parts of our county close to Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria.

Below is a map provided by the County of Santa Barbara that depicts the major fires near Lake Cachuma since 1990.


Year Fire Acres
1990 Painted 4,267
1993 Marre 43,201
1998 Ogilvy 4,000
2004 Cachuma 1,127
2004 Gaviota 7,443
2007 Zaca 240,207
2008 Tea 1,940
2008 Gap 9,443
2009 Jesusita 8,733
2013 White 1,984
2016 Sherpa 7,474
2016 Rey 32,606
2017 Whittier 18,416


Below is a larger map of fires in Santa Barbara County up until 2015.

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mtndriver Dec 12, 2017 07:34 PM
History of Santa Barbara Fires

First fire I remember was the Coyote Fire in 64. Lived in Goleta then. I remember perfect leaves on the hood of the car that completely disintegrated when touched. Ash everywhere, sky the same murky orange, the sense of danger, dread.

bjgreen Dec 12, 2017 06:00 PM
History of Santa Barbara Fires

Going even further back in history (before my time and even before Flicka's time), 100 years ago, there were two big fires in Ojai, one in Mission Canyon, and one in Carpinteria. The Ojai fires wiped out most of the residential area and business district. The people in Carpinteria feared for the worst and many people spent the night on the beach. The Mission Canyon fire lasted for four days. You can read more about the 1917 fires in my book, "Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1917."

Flicka Dec 12, 2017 12:58 PM
History of Santa Barbara Fires

The 1st fire I remember was the devastating 1955 Refugio Fire. The 1964 Coyote Fire was horrible and huge ash flakes covered SB. The Sycamore Fire in 1977, backed by a very strong wind, burned a friend's home on APS. Luckily the wind stopped in time to keep the fire from going to the ocean as was expected to happen if wind kept up.

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