May 10, 2009 PM Updates - Firefighters Approaching Full Containment / Threat Still Exists

One of the most amazing things about this fire was the use of the DC-10. 12,000 gallons dispersed over 3/4 mile long... what an awesome tool... and it's called an air "Tanker"...

The past few days have resulted in increased marine influence, lower temperatures, higher humidity and a reduction in down canyon winds, enabling firefighters to get a good handle on containing the Jesusita Fire.

as of 17:30 hours on 05/10/2009 (Sunday PM)

55% Contained
8700 acres burned
31 homes destroyed
47 homes damaged
02 outbuildings destroyed
00 outbuildings damaged
Cost so far... 7.4 Million Dollars
Full containment expected by 05/13/2009

as of 23:00 hours on 05/10/2009 (Sunday PM)

Note: These figures significantly changed over the course of just a few hours. As more intel arrives from field observers through the Situations Status Unit, many of these figures will continue to change.

65% Contained
8700 acres burned
77 homes destroyed
22 homes damaged
60 outbuildings destroyed
69 outbuildings damaged
Cost so far... 9 Million Dollars
Full containment expected by 05/13/2009

May 7th AM Update / Day 3: The worst has happened to Santa Barbara. An area known as Mission Canyon blew up yesterday about 15:30 hours when the down canyon winds kicked in, commonly known as Santa Ana or sundowners. One engine company was trapped in the garage of a house that they w...

Dozens of homes have been completely destroyed, possibly as many as 35. The local Red Cross reported that they had 131 people at their shelters last night. A total of 500 acres have been estimated for the fire with 3,500 homes and 100 businesses threatened. A total of 13,575 people have now been evacuated with gasline fed fires still visible in the foothills of Santa Barbara where homes were consumed.

Hot temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds are expected again this afternoon, fanning the fire and creating the possibility for more destruction. The fire is currently being pushed back into areas already burned. Sundowners are expected to return, reversing the wind direction. The forecasted temperature for today is 99F with 60-70mph wind gusts expected.

May 6th PM Update / Day 2:

Mission Canyon: Two firefighters with serious burns have been confirmed to have received the burn injuries on the Jesusita Fire that is currently burning out of control, taking out more than 20 homes as of 19:00 hours on day 2.

rapidly burning wind event
20 mph steady winds
40-70 mph wind gusts
record level 102 F
low humidity in the 20% range and less

What's been ordered as of 17:00 hours:
- 20 type 1 enroute (100 engines and 400 firefighters)

- evacuation is number one priortity
- second priority are structures

mandatory evacuation orders have doubled in size

Open gas and water lines have been found due to broken pipes from houses that were burned down to the ground. Residents are being asked through the media to turn off their water and gas services before evacuating to conserve water and minimize gas fed fires.

Crews coming from all over the state to help out thanks to mutual plans. Santa Barbara County is in an extreme emergency with furthered evacuation warnings occurring.

May 5th / Day 1:

What's typical for the Santa Barbara front country is to have the wind blow on shore until about 17:00 and then the wind shifts to down canyon winds blowing off shore. The heat from the desert and inland areas rush toward the cooler ocean water creating severe winds. Tonight it was estimated that there could be 80 mph down canyon wind gusts.

One of the coolest tools that the helicopters use now are night vision goggles. LA County Fire Departments Blackhawk's are coming up tonight to do night drops. They also have the FLIR built in to the helicopter. This really makes a difference during night ops when high tension power lines are hidden in the darkness and smoke. This is incredibly dangerous right now.

California’s wildfire season has begun, and Santa Barbara’s residents and firefighters are once again embroiled in a battle with surging flames and soaring smoke. The Jesusita Fire is now fully engulfing the mountains that frame the so-called “American Riviera” — much like they did last November, when the Tea Fire consumed more than 200 foothill homes, and last July, when the Gap Fire threatened thousands of homes above Goleta while burning nearly 10,000 acres. Winds are once again the biggest pusher of the flames, and they are shifting back and forth — they began blowing uphill, then shifted to down-canyon, but seem to be moving back uphill this afternoon. more...

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good luck guys and stay safe
guess I better go back and triple check the engine one more time before we head that way. Stay safe everyone, see you all soon!
Isn't it strange Mike, that we choose to live in such fire-prone areas? I hope that all your people stay safe. Trees and houses can burn, we are more important!
Our thoughts are with y'all, stay safe, and don't let the Devil bite you in the ass
Be safe out there Mike!!! You will be in our thoughts and prayers brother.
Good Luck and God Speed. TCSS
19:30 Update: Several firetrucks have reportedly suffered physical damage from the fire. Melted plastic lens and other signs of the increased heat from flame impingement occurred to LA County Engine 70. A FM radio reporter asked the Santa Barbara City Fire Department PIO to interview the crew. What I thought was cool was the PIO refusing to do an interview because he understood how they felt just returning from a very intense situation. News reports are discussing the high winds, lots of heavy thick acrid smoke with several structures remaining clearly threatened. It all depends on tonight's weather. Over 8,000 people have now been evacuated.

Just on our news tonight.
Keep safety in mind, look after your mates and try not to stress out too much. OH and remember to contact your family as much as possible with updates on where you are.
Jake, be safe brother, hope to have you home soon
Strike teams from all over California have been arriving since yesterday with over 1000 firefighters on the fire, with more expected to arrive throughout today. Our air resources has arrived with more tankers and helicopters trying to keep the fire in a box... more to follow this afternoon when the winds intensify and switch direction.
Sorry Capt., I didn't see your post before I posted mine. Grossman as I said in my post is a fine facility. These men will be taken very good care of. However, as I also stated having worked with burn patients, it is a very painful experience, both as caregiver and patient. While it seems barbaric, the treatment that is given is given to prevent infection.

I really love CA, but gosh darn I hate this time of year from now until October/November. It just seems that we always get some nutjob with a lighter or who tosses a cigarette from a window of a car without a thought and then next thing you know this happens.

The fire is now at 1,300 acres and they have 1,300 firemen either there or on the way. God bless them all and keep them safe.
My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

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