As of 6:15 a.m., county officials reported between 2,000 and 2,500 acres burned by the Tea Fire with approximately 100 homes destroyed. There have been 10 injuries from smoke inhalation and three burn injuries – one of which was sustained by a firefighter and two by civilians. The fire is now being managed by a unified command, which currently includes units from Santa Barbara County, the City of Santa Barbara, the Montecito Fire Protection District, and the Los Padres National Forest. Terri Nisich, a county spokesperson, said that engines were also sent from Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties, and that the unified command expects to receive nine helicopters and 10 air tankers today.
Although a state of emergency has been declared by Santa Barbara County, there has been no declaration yet from the governor’s office. “We’re certainly hoping for that today,” said Nisich. “The governor is very familiar with our area. He was here for both Zaca and Gap.” Officials have also expressed optimistic hope that calmer winds will prevail today, as yesterday evening’s gusty winds did much to exacerbate the nascent fire.
Mandatory evacuation stands in the area bounded on the north by East Camino Cielo, on the east by Hot Springs Road, and on the west by Tunnel Road (to Mission Canyon). The southern boundary of the evacuation area includes Alameda Padre Serra from Mission Canyon to the roundabout at Five-Points, Barker Pass Road between Five-Points and Highway 192, and Highway 192 from Barker Pass Road to Hot Springs Road. Evacuation warnings were issued for the area east of Hot Springs Road, west of San Ysidro Road, and north of East Valley Road, the area east of Ontare Road, west of Tunnel Road, and north of Foothill Road, and the area bounded on the north by Alameda Padre Serra, and on the east by Montecito Street (to Milpas), as well as Milpas to Anapamu, Anapamu to Laguna, Laguna to Los Olivos, and Los Olivos to Alameda Padre Serra.
Shelter for evacuees is being provided by the American Red Cross at San Marcos High School, which is located at the corner of Hollister Avenue and Turnpike Road. The shelter housed 210 people tonight, and the space will be expanded for more evacuees throughout today.
For road closure information, visit the county’s road closure Web site, or call the Road Closure Hotline at (805) 568-3006. The county’s Tea Fire Call Center can be reached at (805) 681-5197, and the animal hotline is at (805) 681-4332.