Firefighters hold the line at the fire break on Paradise Road during White Fire (May 28, 2013)

Paul Wellman

Firefighters hold the line at the fire break on Paradise Road during White Fire (May 28, 2013)

Fire Burning Off Paradise Road

No injuries and minimal damage reported; Paradise Road evacuation orders still in place.

Originally published 3:42 p.m., May 27, 2013
Updated 6:23 p.m., May 27, 2013
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[UPDATE]:The White Fire is now 5 percent contained, but it has grown to 1,000 acres according to the U.S. Forest Service. Investigators have located the point of origin at the White Rock campground, but have not determined a cause, said Forest Service spokesperson, Andrew Madsen.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, between 4,000 and 6,000 people were evacuated from the Paradise Road area. The Forest Service estimates that, of the evacuees, about 1,000 were recreating near the campsite. “A lot of folks saw the flame and smelt it; even before they were contacted…a lot of them were headed out,” said Madsen.

The Forest Service requested 600 firefighters to battle the blaze. At around 7:30 p.m. 300 were on the job with 200 more en route. The incident command is at the Los Prietos fire station, which the fire burned behind before firefighters were able to put it out. Two vehicles were “singed out,” Madsen said.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory through Wednesday morning. Currently, winds are still, but they are expected to pick up around 3 a.m. Whether the fire spreads depends on the wind, as it originally spread eastward by winds out of the west. “We’ll see when the sun comes up,” said Madsen. “We’ll have a plan of attack and we’ll pick it up then.”

[UPDATE]: Santa Barbara County Fire spokesperson David Sadecki said the White Fire has burned more than 700 acres as of 6 p.m. There are no injuries reported. Air tankers, helicopters, and hand crews continue to fight the blaze.

At least two cars were destroyed by the fire, and one structure damaged. Approximately 50 to 75 homes and cabins have been evacuated.

The last fire to hit the area was the 2007 Rancho Fire, according to county officials.

The American Red Cross said White Fire evacuees are welcome at the Wake Center at 300 Turn Pike Road. More info will be provided as soon as it’s released.

[UPDATE]: The latest estimate is 700 acres burned. A U.S. Forest Service building was partially burned, according to David Sadecki, County fire department spokesperson. Two vehicles — one Forest Service and one private — were also burned. There are no reported injuries. The Red Cross has established an evacuation center at 300 N. Turnpike Road.

[UPDATE]: The White Fire — named after the White Rock campground where it started — is approximately 500 acres and growing, said an official with the U.S. Forest Service. Around “50-75 residents have been either evacuated or displaced,” they said.

[UPDATE]: Independent staff photographer Paul Wellman is on the scene and reports Highway 154 has steady traffic travelling southbound towards Santa Barbara and that winds are strong on the San Marcos pass.

White Fire (May 28, 2013)
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

White Fire (May 28, 2013)

[UPDATE]: County Fire officials say approximately 50 structures are currently threatened, and all campgrounds in the area are being evacuated. Winds are approximately 20 mph; the temperature is 80 degrees. Responding to the blaze are units from the US Forest Service, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, and Santa Maria Fire. The fire is on a south-facing slope of the mountains.

Fourteen fire engines, 2 dozers, 3 water tenders, 2 hand crews, 4 air tankers, and 2 helicopters are on the scene.

[UPDATE]: Tanker pilots are coordinating with dispatchers on the ground. Parts of Paradise Road are on fire and inaccessible, but responders are working to evacuate cabins and homes in the area. Recent estimates of the fire’s size put it at 40-50 acres

[ORIGINAL REPORT]:There’s a sizeable vegetation fire burning right now in the mountains above Santa Barbara. It appears to have started at around 2:30 p.m. near the White Rock Campground off Paradise Road in the Los Padres National Forest. Recent estimates put it at 10 acres and growing.

Firefighting crews — including helicopters and tankers — have been dispatched and scanner chatter indicates evacuation orders are in place for all of Paradise Road and and upper part of the Santa Ynez Valley. Hikers, mountain bikers, and motorists are being told to leave the area. Winds are moving east.

Check back for constant updates.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Please update faster since EdHat is jammed!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 4:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

yes please keep us updated, I don't have cable tv either- so it's edhat or the indie - thanks!

coyotekid (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 4:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Still want to cut firefighter pay?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 4:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

~ Main concern would be the strong winds that have started to kick in around noon. Smoke seems less now, but...while those are not Santa Ana's, winds and fire in the evenings are a dangerous mix. ~

Ellwood (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 4:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Darnit, what's up with edhat?? I'm glad that the Indy is on top of it! You guys are always great when there are fires. Thank you :)

santabarbarasand (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 4:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Extremely dry conditions, long weekend, full campgrounds - who could not have predicted this.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 4:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

south facing? on the north side of the ridge so how can it be south facing?

ednsb (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 4:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Re: south-facing. There's another ridge behind the front range. Paradise Rd runs through a river valley.

Yves (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 5:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Re: south-facing. There's another ridge behind the front range. Paradise Rd runs through a river valley.

Yves (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 5:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Possible. There are slopes to the north of and south of Paradise Road.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 5:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

KEYT caller reports seeing someone dumping hot coals.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, Edhat is overloaded, I can't access it either. Good sign for them, in a way.
Here's some other sites:

Our Communication Center is Ventura.

County Sheriff & Fire:

Or go to
click on "live audio" and take it from there.

Equine Evac was cleared for entry by 3:27 p.m.

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

All that for a few hot dogs. I hope they catch the idiots who sparked the fire.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 5:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Another fire in Camarillo at base of grade now.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 5:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

~ If you want the weather, look out of the window!
if you wish news about the hills burning on top of you...well,
you are on your own until after your roof collapses on top of a sense.. ~

Ellwood (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 5:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Often people call in and say stuff about a fire's supposed origin, or the first reports are wrong. I wouldn't go assuming this was a fire started by a camper or dumping coals until the fire department tells us that.

The assumption is a bit irresponsible at this point (of our "stellar" KEYT news and anyone who jumps on the hype-wagon.)

Native1 (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 5:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Note "White Rock campground" must refer to the White Rock day use (aka picnic) area between Paradise Campground and Los Prietos Ranger Station/Sage Hill Group Campground. Not to be confused with the White Rock swimming hole at the end of the public stretch of the Los Prietos Road, between the Red Rock campground and the Red Rock swimming hole. Supporting this location is the bearing of the smoke from my house with respect to the Painted Cave community, and the report of a partially burned USFS structure (many of them near the WR day use area, and none near the WR swimming hole.)
1740h Update: just posted the location. The fire icon is located on the south side of Paradise Rd, just up the north-facing slope from the Ranger Station. Since 640 acres is a square mile, the burn is a minimum 0.3 miles long, so the bulk of the burn may still be on a south facing slope. It's early, so beware misinformation. But tabatha is right about the importance of whether the fire was on, or has crossed to, the north facing slope and is ready to run up to Camino Cielo.

sbhobo (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 5:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

winds are still strong, seem to have shifted towards downtown Santa Barbara. Well, maybe that is a good thing ~ once those folks do notice that they can no longer breath easily, maybe they will call our ex~governator Schwarzenegger to help out.
I am not convinced as of yet that, given the strong evening winds, this fire is no biggy.
Hopefully, it will be out by tomorrow.

Ellwood (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 6:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Copying and pasting from David Sadecki ‏@SBCFireInfo (Twitter)
48m ago:
White fire evacuation center established by the American Red Cross at 300 North Turnpike Rd.

1 hr ago:
White Fire burning on north side on Santa Ynez River. Last fire that occurred in the area was 2007 Rancho Fire.
White Fire UPDATE: 700 acres, 6 air tankers grounded due to high winds, 4 helos still flying, no injuries, cause under investigation.
2h ago:
USFS building partially burned. Two vehicles burned: one USFS and one private.

sbhobo (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 7:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm not so confident about the situation as some; I heard radio traffic hours ago requesting 4 heavy duty helicopters for tomorrow at 8 a.m.

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 7:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Judging not just the smoke hammering SB but the thickness of what's emanating from the source, it'll be lucky if it's over in 48 hours. You can already see an orange glow.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 8:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

New owners or not, KEYT is still a bad joke. They've stopped fire coverage to air some dumb reality show. They must really think we're all as vacuous as the goobs on the show.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 8:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If anyone wants just the basic info updates, you can use
I am receiving email & SMS texts SBC S/PD reports.

RheeaTuro78 (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 9:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I was searching for detailed updates, edhat is swamped. Ind is good enough.

RheeaTuro78 (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 9:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Did you know that you can file a claim with your home insurance company for the cost of cleaning up the ash the wildfire dumps on your house, even if the house does not burn?

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 9:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

red cross has a evacuation center set up at the santa barbara city college - info / white ic
stronger winds may hit the fire area about 3am. last report from friends in paso robles had strong winds picking up down wind on the rivera side of the santa ynez mtn

Jlavis (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 9:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

1,000 ac 5% containment= wlf

Jlavis (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 9:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

FAQ: YES, also Red Cross at Wake Center, N. 300 Turnpike

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 9:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Just in case, put your important papers (passports, home insurance records, cash, irreplaceable memories), along with artwork, pets, and some clothes, meds, shoes, children's favorite toys, computers, in a spot whence they can quickly be gathered into the car. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, enough cash for a few days, cell phone chargers, some shelf-stable snacks. That way if your house burns you won't be totally without resources.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 9:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

At the moment, moderate winds on Camino Cielo but down at Paradise Rd, not so much.

Real-time wind data for La Cumbre Peak, Paradise Rd, and at Los Prietos:

Go CalFire!

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 10:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey Indy editors: Ever hear of a map? They're even on the innertubes. Use them; you'll enjoy it.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 11:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dumping hot coals?? Were they in an FBI van?

Sky was gridded with chemtrails again yesterday, I had a feeling those evening winds were going to show up at their angriest.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 11:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When you Google "Santa Barbara Memorial Day Fire"-who is number one in reporting....wait for it...sit down...The LA Times...who could honestly give a SH** about us....simply because we are 90 miles away. Fire happens fast and furious. I DEPEND on RAY FORD--as my best resource for "reality" News about fires here. Here is the "SB Fire GURU" absolute!
We live on Foothill near the SB Tennis Club-and it is 1:22 AM-the sky is amber glowing and ash is falling-I have a headache-back spasm....and I pray that we do not have to evac. Kids are finishing school. We have an 8th grader graduating and a 91 year old Dad lives downtown. I just hope the heaven sent Fire Department gets it under control...that the crazy sudden wind dies-the heat settles--maybe some rain? Why is it that when something begins to burn here-we get crazy wind? Anyhow-I am still in gratitude-yet scared of the local media....Thanks in advance to Ray Ford (who honestly needs to have a news desk ON AIR during ANY and ALL fires ....that's just my $00.02....Did my back go out as a reaction to the stress of fire? I mean it is a thought. We have been spring cleaning-and was scrubbing the kitchen floor (now doppled with ash)....and @loonpt-yeah why is that? Does fire attract wind? I feel like we in SB are playing a game of atmospheric "rock-paper-scissors" when we hit fire season. Thanks Indy-for at least being aware. The Indy needs a TV channel-in my humble view. Edhat? ya'll get drunk and fill the network with Mojito news? And The SB Newspress(aka fish wrapper)will probably have a front page on a Vet 3 Legged race for us later today-ee gads! Ray Ford PLEASE come to our aid!!!! Thx Lizzy (sorry for the word burgers-half asleep and a bit scared)
(continued below)

emenzies (Elizabeth Menzies)
May 28, 2013 at 1:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Can we hear from Ray Ford? We have all been through this-let's get a grip. We are on Foothill-and white ash is falling. We just moved up here this year-and the neighbors here are all dialed in. What we learned today? Ok. So...our driveway is a block long-we are smells like BBQ-which would be great if it were just that. We have a friend who lives in Paradise and we have offered shelter-but we are perhaps in the "burn line". Have you ever heard the saying.."if you want to make God laugh-make plans.?" We just finished unpacking (almost) from the move-and now the word is-"pack up-just in case their is an evac" Do we laugh now?Cry? We were all hedaing downtown to see "Hangover III"-(we are a family of men-and a Mommy) and then I came out of the Paseo Nuevo bathroom on the second floor and saw the "plume"(we are so educated here that plume is a common word)-then I called my fiance'-"hey honey I just saw a rust colored plume from the north west quad---???" We begin research on phones-all the while my back has gone into spasm--I sit in front of the theatre--we have done that thing where the family scatters-we are all in different locations downtown. I had shopped for food-my son was working on a video project filming homeless folks downtown-my fiance and his son were clothes what did we do? Not the movie-we came home and had a BBQ-ironic perhaps? cont-belowBut we skipped the movie to come home and "honker down". I went next door and my neighbor MIssy said, "ya know people always say-how nice it is when the weather gets warm here...and that's when we all start thinking...yeah -right-OK---and in my head is-***I just hope we don't smell smoke***"....well we smell smoke and see ash...and Santa Barbar media has gone rogue-WTF KEYT-who the F*** is running the show up there on the hill? Seriously. Mrs. Towbes needs to get that station in gear. It is suppose to be a NEWS agency-s place we can go to find out what is happening--right?

emenzies (Elizabeth Menzies)
May 28, 2013 at 1:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Remember when a broadcaster's number one mandate was to serve the community? And the reporters would work 48 hours straight on a story?
Then there's "NewsChannel 3", heh!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 2:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yep-it is just criminal-because this sort of news-a fire that could impact us all-should be "above the line" headlines in all media.With all the advances in technology-this is just sloppy sloppy production. Who produces? Directs? the news at KEYT.
The Newspress (fish wrapper) was gone long ago. Can't we have some standards in reporting that do not make us laughable?

emenzies (Elizabeth Menzies)
May 28, 2013 at 2:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I thought it a bit odd that KEYT ran some special at 10 (It might have been 20/20 but since I too am half asleep I can't remember) about the upcoming birth of latest heir to the British Royal family with all the experts chiming in about it.

Meanwhile, a nasty fire threatening residences is still burning out of control.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 4:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, I never seen sooo many people who should be on medication in one place.

The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Please help, give me information, lead me to temptation, point me in opposite direction, what's it doing, how hot is it!!!

My god, how do you people get out of bed in the morning without help??

Priceless (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 7:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Priceless...Some of us have kids,pets and a 91 year old Dad that just went to the ER... and are in the fire line...with a sick child at home--Maybe you want to rephrase that useless rant...or just look into a mirror and say that all to your self. Really- if you do not have something nice or supportive to say-go back to bed--an oh ..don't forget your meds.

Didn't your Mom ever teach you any manners.

emenzies (Elizabeth Menzies)
May 28, 2013 at 7:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)


Thanks for proving my point.....

Not sure what fire line your talking about. If you live in SB your not in the fire line... BTW, I look into a mirror everyday and thank god I can think for myself, fend for myself and don't have to rely on government to tell me what to do in an emergency. That should be common knowledge.

Yes, my mom taught me manners, she also taught me how to stand on my two feet and suck it up....

Oh, and sorry to hear about your dad and child I don't like it when people are sick.

Priceless (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 8:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

update 1800 ac with a 10 % containment per wlf

Jlavis (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 9:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Damn, how did I miss Ken's post??

"Still want to cut firefighter pay?" I guess by this statement the ability of our local firefighters to put out wildfires is how much money they receive in their paycheck. Are you say'in if they don't get a raise the fire won't get extinguished?? I guess our local firefighters know how to play the game better than Ken because they have him fooled once again.

Yes, ignorance is showing its ugly head again....

Priceless (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 11:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh, c'mon Priceless. Don't you think our egg-McMuffins will taste better if the fast food workers make $20 per hour?

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 11:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

WHITE fire not on the move-but the wind is kicking up-so smoke and ash may still be an issue in SB.

Advisory: White Fire Not Growing - 02:30pm, Tuesday, 28 May 2013
Hi Elizabeth Menzies,
The Forest Service has provided the following update on the White Fire:

The fire is still well within the Los Padres National Forest.

The fire is active as it burns out interior islands of brush.

Variable winds out of the Northeast @ 20-25 mph.

Smoke will be visible in Santa Barbara.

There is no threat to existing fire lines and no fire spread at this time. 1800+ Acres 10% contained. Additional containment expected after the 6pm Operations Briefing….

All Op Area Fire Departments and CALFIRE are supporting the USFS.

emenzies (Elizabeth Menzies)
May 28, 2013 at 5:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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