Paul Wellman

Fire Starts in Sycamore Canyon

(Updated: Fire is contained.) Evening Blaze Starts in Heavily Residential, Wooded Area Between Santa Barbara and Montecito

Updated with map (9:52pm).

Reporter Chris Meagher and photographer Paul Wellman are headed toward the scene of a fire in Sycamore Canyon, which appears large to residents of the area.

According to Independent publisher Randy Campbell, whose home sits near the canyon on the back of the Riviera, the fire seems to have come from the Five Points area. Campbell and his family are currently debating whether to pack up their belongings. More reports to follow as soon as information is gathered.

No official information has yet been issued to the public, with the person answering the phone at the City Fire Department saying that the battalion chiefs will make a statement to the media as soon as they can spare a moment. The conversation on the police/fire band scanner indicates that the fire may be half an acre large and that an investigator is being sent to the scene. No reports have come in of evacuation orders or warnings.


Updated: “The brush fire was approximately one-half acre and took approximately 20 minutes to contain once they were on site,” said Ray Ford, who tagged long with the Forest Service. The fire was controlled sometime before 9:30 p.m.

Meagher reports that a crew will remain in the area overnight to keep watch. The fire began at the edge of Canyon View Road in grass and light brush on a steep hillside slope, according to Montecito Fire Department Captain Glen McLeod. The call came in at 7:45 p.m. “It definitely lent itself to rapid spread,” he said, “but a quick response and high humidity helped knock it down,” in addition to the fact that there was hardly any breeze.

An iPhone pic of the fire by Indy reader Tom Mangus
Click to enlarge photo

An iPhone pic of the fire by Indy reader Tom Mangus

Five engines responded from the City of Santa Barbara, four from the U.S. Forest Service, and two from Montecito, with battalion chiefs for each. No structures were threatened, but three engines were assigned to Villa Alicia to protect the condos at the top of the hill. The fire’s cause is still under investigation.

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