San Rafael Wilderness
THE WELLMAN FIRE - June 11-23, 1966
For the first time, the Forest Service is faced with fighting a wilderness fire in an area where there are no easy staging points, no solid ridgelines which they know can be held, no roads on which to haul in supplies and equipment, nor any way of getting pumpers on the fire line.
By noon on Sunday 3,000 acres have been burned, the flames gulping the dry fuel at an unbelievable rate in all directions. To the north, the fire burns rapidly upslope towards the Sierra Madre Mountains, eating its way through the thick grasses and chaparral quickly.
To the west it follows the Sisquoc River downstream, the wide river valley containing expanses of grass and hillsides thick with chaparral, ominously heading towards the Santa Maria Valley. Southward, the flames attack heavy brush covering Hurricane Deck, moving rapidly towards the San Rafael Mountains and the Santa Ynez Valley.....