A full moon rose over flames fanning Alamo Fire on a hilltop off Highway 166 east of Santa Maria Friday night. The fire jumped a retardant line Friday afternoon and by Saturday morning had engulfed nearly 6,000 acres.

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Dept.

A full moon rose over flames fanning Alamo Fire on a hilltop off Highway 166 east of Santa Maria Friday night. The fire jumped a retardant line Friday afternoon and by Saturday morning had engulfed nearly 6,000 acres.

Alamo Fire Burning into Tepusquet Canyon

[UPDATE, July 8, 2017, 7:15 p.m.] The Alamo Fire blew across 19,000 acres as of mid-afternoon today, reported CalFire in San Luis Obispo. Extreme fire behavior was seen in the Blazing Saddles neighborhood, and about 200 homes are in the evacuation area: Blazing Saddles, Pine Canyon, Buckhorn Ridge, Tepusquet to Santa Maria Mesa Road, Colson and White Rock Road residents are being told by Santa Barbara’s sheriff to “Leave Now.”

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Dept.

A DC-10 drops Phos-Chek on the eastern flank of Alamo Fire.

[UPDATE: July 8, 11:30 a.m.]

Firefighters continued their all-night and all-day siege against the Alamo Fire, which doubled in size to about 6,000 acres, Captain Dave Zaniboni reported Saturday morning. About a thousand were on scene as strong, hot winds drove the fire further into Tepusquet Canyon. With mandatory evacuation orders in place for areas north of Santa Maria Mesa Road, engine companies moved their men and women into the dangerous job of structure defense for the approximately 100 homes in the area. Daytime temps have reached 100 degrees, and humidity sits at 16 percent in places. Five helicopters are dropping water on hot spots, and four fixed-wing aircraft are blanketing fire retardant ahead of the flames. The fire in Santa Barbara’s North County, mostly south of highway 166, is estimated to be about 10 percent contained.

Specific areas under mandatory evacuation orders are streets named Blazing Saddles, Buckhorn, White Rock, and Tepusquet (south of Blazing Saddles to Santa Maria Mesa Road), said Gina DePinto, spokesperson for Santa Barbara County. A shelter has been set up at Minami Community Center (300 Enos St., Santa Maria). No pets are accepted there; the Santa Maria Animal Center (548 Foster Rd.) will take them. The large-animal refuge at the Elks Rodeo (4040 Hwy. 101, Gate 3, Santa Maria) held six animals as of Friday. DePinto said to call County Animal Services at (805) 681-4332 before bringing an animal to either shelter.

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Dept.

The enormous plume of smoke from Alamo Fire dwarfs the 7 a.m. fire briefing at incident base camp Saturday.

[UPDATE] The evacuation warning has been upgraded to a mandatory evacuation order for Blazing Saddles and White Rock lanes, said Gina DePinto, spokesperson for Santa Barbara County. Tepusquet and Buckhorn regions remain on warning status. For further information, go to, DePinto said, or see #AlamoFire on Twitter, call the 2-1-1 operator, or (800) 400-1572 outside the 805 area code.


A fire burning along the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County border blew into a 500-acre conflagration driven by winds at about 2 p.m. on Friday. Evacuation warnings have been made for several areas of Tepusquet Canyon and Buckhorn: Blazing Saddles Lane, White Rock Lane, Colson Canyon, and Tepusquet Road. They had been tweeted as mandatory evacuation orders, in error, originally.

The Alamo Fire began in SLO County around 5 p.m. on Thursday, and had been considered 10 percent contained at 175 acres by nightfall with the help of a very large retardant-dropping air tanker. Firefighters had been gaining ground on the fire until the winds kicked up Friday afternoon.

This report will be updated as information becomes available.

Santa Barbara County

Map of Alamo Fire as of Saturday morning, July 8, 2017

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

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Will Hollister Ranch Access Deal Hold Up Under Public Scrutiny?

State commissioners are taking a closer look at settlement over beach access to Santa Barbara County gated ...

Faced with a Gun, Sheriff’s Sergeant Holds His Fire

Sgt. Freddy Padilla reflects on potentially life-saving decisions during welfare call.

Quick Response in Large Numbers Held Holiday Fire at Bay

Record heat on July 6 destroyed crops and livestock.

Los Padres Officials Ban Campfires, Firearm Discharge

Temporary measures are enacted during peak fire season.

Protesters Blast ExxonMobil’s Trucking Proposal

The energy company wants to restart its offshore oil drilling platforms.