Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gap Fire Closures To Reopen 7/19/08

Gap Fire Closure Reduced, Effective July 19

The Forest Service will lift a portion of the emergency closure associated with the Gap Fire, effective Saturday, July 19. The area to be reopened is national forest land south of East Camino Cielo between Highway 154 and Gibraltar Road. The area that will remain closed until further notice includes all national forest lands west of Highway 154 to Refugio Road.

The closure prohibits all public entry to national forest lands, trails, roads and recreation sites within the designated area. It does not apply to private land within or adjacent to the national forest.

For more information and current conditions, contact the Los Prietos Ranger Station at (805)967-3481. For the current status of the Gap Fire, visit
Additional Fire Restrictions in Los Padres National Forest

In response to increasing fire danger, Forest Service officials today announced that they will impose additional fire restrictions in Los Padres National Forest starting Friday, July 18. The following restrictions will remain in effect until the end of the high fire season:

Wood and charcoal fires are prohibited in all areas of Los Padres National Forest, including developed campgrounds and designated Campfire Use Sites.Portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel, are allowed in all areas of Los Padres National Forest; however, a California Campfire Permit is required to use a stove outside of developed campgrounds and designated Campfire Use Sites. Campfire Permits are available free-of-charge at any Forest Service office. In developed recreation sites position portable stoves and lanterns in cleared areas near tables and permanently installed stoves. In dispersed areas, clear all flammable material for a distance of five feet in all directions from the stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times when it is in use.Recreational target shooting is prohibited in all areas of Los Padres National Forest except the Winchester Gun Club in Santa Barbara County and the Ojai Valley Gun Club in Ventura County. Hunting with a valid State of California hunting license is exempt from this restriction.
Smoking is prohibited in all areas of Los Padres National Forest except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or designated Campfire Use Site.

Internal combustion engines may be operated only on roads or trails that are designated for such use. (This restriction is in effect year-round.) Make sure that your engine is operating properly and you have an approved spark arrester.

The public is reminded that there are currently two fire-related emergency closures in Los Padres National Forest encompassing the entire Monterey Ranger District, and a portion of the Santa Barbara Ranger District in the vicinity of the Gap Fire. For further information regarding current conditions, emergency closures, permit requirements, and safety tips, contact your nearest Forest Service office or visit the Los Padres National Forest website

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Front Country Trail Crew- Help Us Make History!

The Multi-use Trails Coalition announces the formation of the Front Country Trail Crew. With over 70 miles of front country trails to care for, SBMTV is currently the only group doing work- now there is a second group. As part of our mission providing safety on the trails, our FCTC will help bridge that gap.

Crew Description: The goal of our FCTC is to create a six person team to go on trail work days at least six times a year. We would like crew to consist of the same members each time so that our skills can be honed and we can work together more efficiently. Currently four spots are available and we have enough tools for up to six members. No trail building skills are required, only that you would like to improve local trail conditions and you are a hard worker. Thanks to donations from tool manufacturers, each member will receive their own set of equipment free of charge! Time Committment: Once every two months, several hours each time TBD.

The Equipment: Thanks to donations from Corona Tools, Fiskars, and Bullard we will be utilizing the latest in trail building technology- mcleod hoes, loppers, and hand saws. We also have in our arsenal: pulaskis, combi tools, and extendable pruner/saws. We request that anyone who is the least bit interested in the FCTC please email us back for more details. As stated before experience is not necessary, age and sex also not important.

Monday, July 7, 2008

USFS Announces Closure of LPNF Due To The Gap FIre

The USFS announced that a large section of the Los Padres National Forest will be closed due to the Gap Fire(see picture below). This Closure will remain in effect until the Gap Fire is under control. Follow the link for more information.


The Multi-use Trails Coalition

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Gap Fire July 5th, Eastern Fire Movement Stopped!

All the bomb runs yesterday seemed to have paid off! The Gap Fire stopped just above Trout Club and Hidden Valley. Hand Crews were busy at work near the intersection of 154 and Old San Marcos Pass Rd. tending to small hot spots. Although the fire tried to make it down the canyon yesterday as seen in the photos below, all the water drops didn't let it happen. An area about 1 mile west of 154 was still flaring up a little today but air drops from the DC-10 and hand crews hopefully will get the upper hand. Far less air action today and the wind seems to have shifted blowing lightly in the direction of the SYV. Possibly the last bad fire area is still to the west, out past Winchester Canyon. Big props to the pilots and firefighters for saving the day.

One of the last hot spots on WCC. (Notice the retardent coating all the brush)
DC-10 dropping on WCC

Intersection of 154 and Old San Marcos Pass Rd-Not much smoke lower today

Painted Cave wrapped up tight

Dozers at the San Marcos Pass Summit

Gap Fire Air Attack Photos- July 4th

No one can say that they are not doing enough to get the Gap Fire out. I watched from a ridge on E Camino Cielo for a bit yesterday and saw countless helicopter water drops and several dozen plane drops. The main goals that I could see were trying to prevent the fire from heading over West Camino Cielo into the SYV and preventing it from reaching Trout Club, Hidden Valley , and then eventually Old SM Rd. When I left they had prevented the fire from dropping into the Hidden Valley/TC Area, but it was right on the edge.

Overview of the fire from above Painted Cave

Fire Burning on the ridge above Trout Club
One of the many large planes working July 4th

Bombing the Ridge above Trout Club.

Bombing West Camino Cielo

Old San Marcos Rd on the Left, the fire is smoldering on the right

Dozing a line about 1 mile east of Painted Cave

Most easterly section of the Gap Fire
Ridge above Hidden Valley

Preventing the fire from reaching further east.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Gap Fire Photos Day Three, Painted Cave Area

Knowing that the fire was moving toward West Camino Cielo and Trout Club area I went up to La Cumbre Peak to see how the fire looked from above. Once there the smoke was clearly blowing towards SB. Along with a few others we watched the fire until sunset at which point I made my way west along Camino Cielo until I came onto a ridge overlooking Painted Cave. 154, Goleta, and Old San Marcos Roads were all visible from this vantage point. When I arrived the fire seemed to be above the ridge of the community of Painted Cave. In the distance fire trucks lined Painted Cave Rd and Old San Marcos Rd. I watched and took photos from this point for several hours. Several bright transformer exploded in the fire then quickly followed by darkness in the city below. At some point the wind changed and most of the fire trucks along San Marcos Rd left. When I left the fire seemed to be stopped on the ridge above Painted Cave and I hope it did not move any further. The photos below are taken from La Cumbre Peak and Near Painted Cave.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Gap Fire Photos Day Two

The above shot was taken last night near Santa Barbara Airport. To the far left is Glen Annie and possibly beyond and on the right is Patterson Cyn.

Judging by the amount of smoke I saw yesterday I thought this fire might be under some control. Then I went for a ride late yesterday afternoon and the plume killed that idea. From the hills of SB you could see how the smoke was much lower than it had been a day earlier. I decided to get a closer look.

Up on Old San Marcos Rd the flames were visible on a canyon which probably was Patterson Ave. The flames were jumping about 50 ft up I estimate. The glow was bright enough on Old SM Rd that you could have almost read a book from the light which was probably a mile + away. The

winds were almost non existent which was probably why the flames died down to a glowing ember eventually.

From Goleta you could see how much the fire had spread in one day. It had just been a small spot on top Tues, but now was miles wide and appeared to be more than halfway down the mtns. I haven't seen a map of this today but it supposedly is over 2000 acres now.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Gap Fire Photos and News

So after hearing about the Gap Fire on the news I went up on my rooftop to see if flames were visible from downtown. Sure enough they were and I decided to head out to Cathedral Oaks with all the other lookielosers to have a closer look. At Glen Annie the Flames looked really close and I couldn't help but think about what said last summer and the Zaca Fire. If the fire makes it to the ridge, it would only about 4 or so hours before the fire made it down into civilization. Luckily they didn't make it down to Goleta this AM and hopefully the efforts hold the flames back. At DPHS last night fire fighting vehicles were lining up for the fight this AM.
This website for residents who live in the San Marcos Pass area seems to be the only website with reliable info on the fire: