Reliable DC-10 lays down a long layer of retardant on the jeepway Sunday night in preparation for tomorrow's planned back fire operation.

Ray Ford

Reliable DC-10 lays down a long layer of retardant on the jeepway Sunday night in preparation for tomorrow's planned back fire operation.

Showdown on Pendola Jeepway Delayed a Day

Winds not right for burn on areas threatened by Zaca Fire

Wide angle view of the backcountry
Click to enlarge photo

Ray Ford

Wide angle view of the backcountry

Though today was billed as the day Santa Barbara could breathe easy as the fire danger was over, cross winds made it impossible to light the fire on the lower part of Pendola Jeepway. If all is a go, tomorrow, fire fighters will be on the line early to take advantage of winds that will keep the dogleg section with the breeze at their backs - perhaps as soon as day light.

The remaining area is a critical piece to have “in the pocket”; with it burned out Santa Barbara will finally be safe. Those on the line are confident they can pull it off. Late today, with the help of fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, and the trusty DC-10 laying down thousands of gallons of retardant on the dogleg section of Pendola Jeepway, the area to be burned will be well-prepped.

Photo shows the area set for backfiring today.
Click to enlarge photo

Ray Ford

Photo shows the area set for backfiring today.

These panoramic photographs show an extremely wide angle view of the remaining area in the Live Oak Zone that concerns Incident Command. Though many hot spots still remain, and a few locations have enough islands of fuel to present problems, once this area is buttoned up, this will become a mop up operation.

That will be extremely good news for Santa Barbara city but it does not mean the fire is over. The wilderness phase of the fire may continue for quite a while - both in the Dick Smith Wilderness, where burn out operations continue to surround the area, and on the Sisquoc River. This section of the San Rafael Wilderness may present serious issues as there are few easy spots to cut the fire off now that it has passed the Sweetwater containment line.

By Ray Ford

After the DC-10 drops its load it climbs out of the canyon and heads back to Victorville. Note the retardant already laid down on the jeepway as well as yesterday’s backfire area that is now in ashes.

By Ray Ford

Last of today’s back fire slowly dies down in the middle ground; in the far background the wild part of the Zaca Fire continues to burn in upper Mono Canyon.

Further details on the burn out will be added early tomorrow.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Both Side Draw Blood in Dario Pini Trial

The courtroom drama opened with questions about who should have control over how many properties.

Pair of F-22s Buzz Santa Barbara City College

Turbulence rattles windows and nerves on Monday morning.

Mandatory Evacuation Called for Fire Zones in Santa Barbara County

Heavy rains expected Tuesday-Thursday; debris flows feared.

Cannabis Farmer Gets Over $1 Million Insurance Payout

Thomas Fire ash destroys crop; analysis finds asbestos, lead, arsenic, and magnesium.

Next Debris Flow Could Take Different, Unknown Path

"I've never seen this degree of hazard," says Cal Fire scientist.