Flames in Rattlesnake Canyon Area near Gibraltar Road

Montecito Basin’s Fate Depends on How Winds Shift Later This Afternoon

Ray Ford called in from St. Mary’s Seminary on the west side of Rattlesnake Canyon area: The fire has burned past the seminary area; it did not burn the seminary. Hot shot crews are on the westside of Rattlesnake Canyon, and the fire has burned the entire way up to the ridge.

The first half mile of Rattlesnake Canyon trail area is completely burned out. Ford sees plumes of smoke on middle section. Good sized flames on upper part where trail turns east and heads up to Gibraltar Road.

The DC-10 was arriving as Ford reported.

Having moved over to Gibraltar Road, Ford reports that everything from Mountain Drive up to the crest of the mountains that drop down into Rattlesnake Canyon—all of the east side of Gibraltar Road up to the radio towers-has been completely burned through, with virtually no vegetation left at all, except for a few small trees around the houses. Can see several houses standing, and a few are gone. The location is about halfway up the mountain, where the cell phone towers are.

As he heads toward toward the Mt. Calvary Retreat Center, Ford reports that though the fire has leapt into Rattlesnake Canyon, homes there do not appear to be lost. At Las Canoas, homes appear to be intact.

On Stanwood Drive on back of Sycamore Canyon, he can see a number of houses smoking. He sees smoke all the way into the Montecito area: If winds turn, he said, there will be serious problems in Montecito basin area, e.g. north of East Valley Road.

In the distance to the east, he sees no vegetation on the hills at all.

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