Post-Fire Post

(Cut and paste diary from comments-that-would-not-stop on dkos,, but begun here in a comment to my man on the spot, ta da

CatfishBlues, who said

May Gray

We’re in almost drizzle conditions, everything is moist but no run-off. That should really help the firefighters out today


I said

Just got a report from our house sitter.

Man, did we ever get lucky.  And it’s hard to know how much fire fighting had to do with it.  There was a lot of grass in the very large yard next door–it’s burned.  There is burning underneath the huge pine tree and a lot of trees are blackened.  We had just taken out loads and loads of dead material out of that pine and a lot of kindling from beneath the pine.  I’m quite certain that we would have had no chance if we hadn’t done that just last week.  The grass is burned right up to the house on the downwind side of the house.  She said that looks as though the firemen did a controlled burn there.  So, a lot of blackened trees, some of our plants right next to the house are completely gone, but no damage to the house luckily, otherwise we may have had to get in touch with a public insurance adjuster to help us with our insurance claims and the rebuilding of our homes! But I’m thinking most of the charring is more from the heat than the actual fire.

We picked up one tip which a fireman gave her as she was leaving.  He said to leave the lights on in your house in case they have to come back in the night or in heavy smoke, it helps them find the house and see what’s going on better in fighting fire.

So, that’s how the Jesusita Fire affected me.  There is going to be a lot of clean-up, and we’ll be doing some new planting near the house, but we’ll be able to sit on our patio and from there it’ll look as though nothing happened.

General news:  Still foggy, high humidity, calm air, low temperatures.  Fire is 40% contained and everyone can return home except those in the highest reaches.  The southern part of the fire–toward the ocean, must be contained.  And the evidently prevented its spilling over the ridge along Camino Cielo.  My guess is that the fighting is now on the east and west fronts, which are in residential areas.  They are estimating complete containment by Wednesday.

I can’t wait to hear the stories of all the firemen did in this blaze.  The number of houses still standing in the midst of burn areas is incredible.

Thanks to everyone for all the support of me and of everyone affected by the fire.  It’s really good to have a place to turn.

Lineatus said:

How soon will you be able to see it for yourself?

I said


Unless I can’t stand it anymore and jump on an airplane (use fuel).  I’m expecting to see an oasis of unburned ground but scorched trees, black leaves, but even with some trees in good shape.  She said our lane looks mostly normal driving down it.  We’re burned on the east by the Tea Fire last autumn.  That stopped a half mile away from us, near the center of this zone.  I don’t know if our burn boundary is even closer from the east now.

To the north, away from the ocean, is Rattlesnake Canyon with its popular trail, a trail that can be cut across transverse to the mountain face, and join up with Jesusita Trail, the beautiful trail for with the fire is named.  More Jesusita, one can come down to Tunnel Road, ground zero for the start of this fire.  You would be traversing (if that’s the word) from Rattlesnake Canyon to Mission Canyon, ground zero for the starting part of this Jesusita Fire.  This was the seed point for a fire fanned for a few hours by 70mph winds.  Down canyon from Mission Canyon lies, of course, the mission, stunning rose garden (takes just a month off each year) and the city beyond, close residences first, on a gentle slope down to the Pacific Ocean.

Continuing on to the west comes San Roque.  The fire made a run down this canyon a little after midnight on the second night.  Ethan Stewart, who spent the night seeking out the hottest spots, sending eyewitness reports of the most crucial battles.  Stopping the Jesusita Fire at San Roque changed the history of Santa Barbara, I’m convinced.  I believe deaths were prevented, at the very least.

So, we are burned clear for miles to the west, a few more miles to the east, and now apparently, almost completely burned up above all the way to the ridge at Camino Cielo.  But we’ll be back in danger 6 years, at the most.

The firemen waited to see what would happen during the harshest hours on the first night, before another rapidly shifting pitched battle the next night.  I like to think that concerted effort to clear kindling and cut the fuel ladder among residents had an enormous effect on how this fire spread.  A lot fewer burning embers blowing downwind toward the Museum of Natural History in a lush neighborhood behind the mission.  I have a lot of respect for my neighbors, who have been trying to wake me up ever since I’ve lived there.  This is precisely the fire the Mission Canyon Association has been working hard to minimize.  I think they succeeded.  And it looks as though the fire departments made good on their end of the bargain, defending the defensible space they worked ceaselessly to create.

Uh, thanks for asking.  Are you sorry you mentioned it?


But the other new diary is the one I’m putting on dkos tonight.


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    • geomoo on May 10, 2009 at 23:06

    I’m going to post this pdf of [References to Medical Professionals Contributing to “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”], because I just got it under control. Perhaps it’s already been here and discussed?  If so, sorry.  I took a break from those things.

    Fire should be calming down now.

    • geomoo on May 10, 2009 at 23:07

    try this

  1. to hear great news.  Sorry it took me so long to get here & find this essay.

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