Record-setting daytime temperatures spiked past 102 degrees during the evening of Friday, July 6, as strong sundowners blasted much of Santa Barbara’s coastal region. At approximately 8:40 p.m., emergency personnel received the first 9-1-1 call about a fast-moving wildfire in…
The Jesusita Fire began on May 5 and burned until May18, blackening 8,733 acres. The fire destroyed 80 homes and 79 outbuildings and commercial properties and was called the worst disaster in 25 years by Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
The Sherpa Fire started on the afternoon of June 15 at Rancho La Scherpa, near the top of Refugio Canyon along the Gaviota Coast. The fire began by accident when a ranch resident removed a burning log from a fireplace and placed it outside. Before he could extinguish it with a garden hose, wind pushed embers into nearby dry chaparral. Roughly six months later, on January 20, 2017, a powerful rainstorm struck the mountains along the Gaviota Coast. The heavy downpour quickly overwhelmed the creeks and other canyon drainages.
The Rey fire began around 3:15 pm on August 18th, 2016 when a dying tree fell on power lines near White Rock Campground. Within two day the fire had grown to over 10,000 acres, fueled by dense fuel buildup and erratic winds.
The Whittier Fire began on July 7 when a hot vehicle ignited a tall patch of dry grass at Camp Whittier, located off Highway 154 near Lake Cachuma. The fire grew rapidly because of high temperatures and an abundance of fuel. The area had not burned in several decades. Roughly 18 months later, on the morning of February 2, 2019, a strong downpour across the burn scar of the Whittier Fire trigger a debris flow in Duval Canyon.
The Thomas Fire began on December 4 in Santa Paula, about 40 miles east of Santa Barbara. In the coming weeks, it became the largest fire in the history of California recordkeeping. The wildfire began when strong winds caused SoCal Edison power lines near Thomas Aquinas College to explode in an electrical arc, igniting dry grass below. Flued by strong winds, the fire grew to 500 acres within an hour and crossed Highway 150 into Santa Paula.
The 1/9 Debris Flow was triggered by a rare meteorological event following a high-intensity wildfire. The meteorological event, known as a Narrow Cold Frontal Rainband (NCFR), occurred when a narrow band of intense convection and rainfall built up along a cold front at around 1 a.m. on January 8, 2018.
On the windy Monday afternoon of November 25, the Cave Fire sparked to life in Los Padres National Forest near Painted Cave, close to the intersection of Highway 154 and East Camino Cielo.