A large smoke plume and ash covering Santa Barbara Saturday evening was caused by a late afternoon flare up of the Zaca Wildfire, burning since July 4. While the fire remains 80 percent contained, Saturday’s flare up occurred in an area which is as yet uncontained, driven by temperatures of over 90 degrees and extremely dry conditions.
Saturday’s flare up burned into a southeast portion of the San Rafael Wilderness, and devoured and estimated 300 acres of dry brush that has not burned for 70 to 90 years. While prevailing winds pushed smoke and ash over the City of Santa Barbara. Goleta, and Montecito, a spokesman from the Montecito Fire District said there is no current danger to the front country from the Zaca Wildfire. For updated fire information go to Inciweb. A previous Independent article about this fire contained valuable information about dealing with ash flow, and is available here.
From Inciweb at 9:15 pm:
The fire was very active this afternoon on its E/SE side in the San Rafael Mountain area within the San Rafael Wilderness. Winds caused the fire to spot across handlines and burn into heavy brush, burning an additional 600 acres by about 6:00p.m. The fire also ignited islands of unburned vegetation well-inside the firelines. Several water-dropping helicopters and eight retardant-dropping airtankers attacked the fire all afternoon. This evening with little humidity recovery, the fire continues to burn aggressively in heavy fuels and is expected to burn actively all night. The active portion of the fire is well within the San Rafael Wilderness. There is no imminent threat to structures. There are no evacuations planned. More of the report from Inciweb.