Since December 4th of this year, the fourth largest fire in California’s history has ripped through Ventura and a major part of Santa Barbara County. Currently, the flames lurk the outer realms of the Montecito village, a community of under 10,000 people. The picture you see was taken yesterday morning from the deck of the Coral Sea at Sea Landing in the Santa Barbara Harbor. As you can see, what is usually a perfect view of the Montecito Foothills, is just a haze of smoke from the relentless burning of the southern coast.
The fire is, at the moment, only 30 percent contained. But with the Sundowner Winds that are supposed to pick up again through this warm holiday weekend, the fire may only get worse, rather than better.
For now, here is the County of Santa Barbara’s website and it’s updated information on evacuations:
“Unless otherwise noted, all evacuations listed are current as of 12-13-17 2:00 p.m.
- North of Highway 192 to East Camino Cielo between Highway 150 and Mission Canyon Road.
- Hot Springs Road to Buena Vista Road, from Highway 192 north to East Camino Cielo
- Buena Vista east to the County line and north of Highway 192 (E. Valley Road), to include the 900 block of Park Lane east.
- Carpinteria area East of Toro Canyon Rd. East to HWY 150, North of Hwy 192 to Camino Cielo.
- Carpinteria area East of intersection of Casitas Pass Rd & Hwy 192, North of Hwy 192, & West of the county line.
- SR-192 north to E.Camino Cielo between Toro Canyon Rd and Linden Ave.
- Shepherd Mesa, Gobernador Canyon.”
- again the website is countyofsb.org
Although you may see local Santa Barbarans picking up their favorite latte at Starbucks, or shopping for groceries at Von’s and other major chain organizations, (company’s with hundreds and even thousands of stores throughout the United States), the local businesses, as well as the wild and captive animals, continue to suffer from this record breaking natural disaster.
Marlene Bucy of Folio Press & Paperie, a business formerly known as Wootton Printing, says, “Since the smoke began a week ago, our sales (along with those of many, many other small, local retailers) have gone from great to nothing. Problem is, this is December – we have spent a fortune on inventory, priced and displayed it (and in our case also printed thousands of holiday cards to sell as well) – and there are no customers.”
Marlene and Frank Bucy have been the owners of the longtime company for over 10 years. “I’ve spent about $35,000 just for the product I bought in December – other stores likely more,” says Marlene. “We typically are so busy in December our store starts to remind me of a supermarket… with a constant line. But now, no one – same thing for an entire week and likely through the month of December.”
Frank and Marlene Bucy, who have been evacuated from their home on El Cielito Rd., near Mountain Drive since Sunday, also say they’ve heard “the same from several other businesses in downtown SB: Isabella Gourmet Foods and Italian Pottery Outlet.”
Due to lack of customers and business, D’Angelo’s, which is a local bakery near the Bucy’s struggling business, had to give their pastries and breads away yesterday. Plus, “local retailers and restaurants need help now. The chains will survive (they have thousands of other locations open daily plus strong online presence),” says Marlene, who is a former piano teacher and lifetime Santa Barbaran.
Furthermore, for those who need help with the evacuation of large animals and livestocks, and of course small pets, they can call the Santa Barbara County Animal Services hotline, (805) 681-4332. There is space still available at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, the Animal Services Shelter, El Capitan, but there is no space available at the Santa Barbara Humane Society.
This website (county of sb), has most of the updated information on the fires and it’s progress and resources. Make sure you pick up today’s Montecito Journal for more updates and stories about this tragedy that’s affected so many people and animals, plus so many business’s that very badly will need all of our support. And more than ever.
Early morning view of Stearns Wharf and the hills of SB County from Santa Barbara Harbor. The smoke undulates in what is ususally our much cleaner air for 13 days now.
Writing by Jon Vreeland
Photo by Alycia Vreeland