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Santa Barbara Historical Wildfires

Useful Information

What follows is the story of Santa Barbara’s major wildfires from the 1950s through the Paint Fire in 1990. It not only chronicles the fires themselves but the evolution of our response to them during…

Refugio Fire 1955 - Santa Barbara,Ojai (1 Resource Available)
The small building in which the fire began was small, housing a generator which provided power for the ranch. Inside were other assorted supplies and an open-topped gasoline tank from which fumes were…
1
Coyote Fire 1964 - Santa Barbara (1 Resource Available)
There’s something malevolent about wildfires. They aren’t acts of God. They’re nature striking back at mere men presuming to claim possession of the mountains.
2
Wellman Fire 1966 - Santa Barbara (1 Resource Available)
While most Santa Barbarans have been preoccupied with the fire on the hills immediately behind them, they also recognized that what happens to the backcountry is also critically important to them, since…
3
Romero Fire 1971 - Santa Barbara,Carpinteria (1 Resource Available)
Campers spot a fire burning along Happy Canyon Road on July 7, 1977 near Figueroa Mountain Road. Before it is contained 1,825 acres are burned. It is kept out of the San Rafael Wilderness only by the efforts…
4
Sycamore Canyon Fire 1977 - Santa Barbara (1 Resource Available)
Both of fuelbreak construction and brush conversion are accelerated in the early 1970s, especially after the extremely disastrous 1970 fire season. During a 13-day period from September 22 to October 4,…
5
Eagle Canyon Fire 1979 - Santa Barbara (1 Resource Available)
The wind gusts, whipping one way, then another, concentrating the flames like the blast from a blacksmith’s bellows, forcing them up one draw, then another, creating not one wall of advancing flame but…
6
Wheeler Fire 1985 - Ojai (1 Resource Available)
Inside the command center are walled-sized maps of California and dispatchers at communications modules, speaking in soft tones as they deal with allocating field resources and the hundreds of emergency…
7
Paint Fire 1990 - Santa Barbara (1 Resource Available)
On June 27, the thermometer had broken the 100 degree mark for the third day in a row. It is intensely hot, sweltering even in the shade. There is no cooling breeze, no air movement to soften the day—at…
8
Refugio Fire 1955 - Santa Barbara,Ojai (1 Resource Available)
The small building in which the fire began was small, housing a generator which provided power for the ranch. Inside were other assorted supplies and an open-topped gasoline tank from which fumes were…
1
Coyote Fire 1964 - Santa Barbara (1 Resource Available)
There’s something malevolent about wildfires. They aren’t acts of God. They’re nature striking back at mere men presuming to claim possession of the mountains.
2
Wellman Fire 1966 - Santa Barbara (1 Resource Available)
While most Santa Barbarans have been preoccupied with the fire on the hills immediately behind them, they also recognized that what happens to the backcountry is also critically important to them, since…
3
Romero Fire 1971 - Santa Barbara,Carpinteria (1 Resource Available)
Campers spot a fire burning along Happy Canyon Road on July 7, 1977 near Figueroa Mountain Road. Before it is contained 1,825 acres are burned. It is kept out of the San Rafael Wilderness only by the efforts…
4
Sycamore Canyon Fire 1977 - Santa Barbara (1 Resource Available)
Both of fuelbreak construction and brush conversion are accelerated in the early 1970s, especially after the extremely disastrous 1970 fire season. During a 13-day period from September 22 to October 4,…
5
Eagle Canyon Fire 1979 - Santa Barbara (1 Resource Available)
The wind gusts, whipping one way, then another, concentrating the flames like the blast from a blacksmith’s bellows, forcing them up one draw, then another, creating not one wall of advancing flame but…
6
Paint Fire 1990 - Santa Barbara (1 Resource Available)
On June 27, the thermometer had broken the 100 degree mark for the third day in a row. It is intensely hot, sweltering even in the shade. There is no cooling breeze, no air movement to soften the day—at…
7
Last Updated: Thursday, July 30, 2015