County Fire Deputy Chief Tom Franklin (standing left), area firefighting legend and Los Padres Hot Shot Supervisor Mark Linane (center), and Air Attack Coordinator Brad Joost (standing right) develop a plan of attack during the early days of the fire.

On Monday Incident Commander John Molumby encouraged fire fighters to put everything into the next seventy-two hours. “These are critical hours,” he enjoined his troops as they headed out to battle the fire.

For the past week, a major effort was made to hold the Zaca Fire along the north-trending Don Victor Jeepway that separates the Indian Creek and Mono drainages. Not only would this push the fire away from Santa Barbara, but if they could herd it far enough north past Mono Narrows before it made its way across the drainage, Incident Command hoped it would continue its way northeast up Mono Canyon to a point where it would die out in the face of back fires being set along the Highway 33 and Potrero Seco areas.

Operations map shows a critical piece of land that fire fighters held on the lower part of Don Victor Jeepway.
Forest Service Map

Hots shots in Indian Canyon worked feveriously up a 1,500 high ridge to the Don Victor Jeepway and then down into Pie Canyon to cut off the fire from reaching Santa Barbara. Though their efforts were successful, the fire was able to make its way down to the Mono Narrows from further north; pushing hard out of upper Indian Canyon, the flames rushed through a series of meadows known as Loma Pelona and down Alamar Creek. By late in the evening the fire had crossed Mono Creek, worked its way up the back side of a 2,500′ high ridge and was threatening to move down into Agua Caliente Canyon.


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