Indy reporter Chris Meagher called in from Cathedral Oaks, near Highway 154, which has just been officially closed at the intersection of Highway 101. The western edge of the Jesusita Fire keeps expanding, though at 9:15 p.m. Meagher said the flames still looked to be a few ridges away from actually crossing the 154.
Meagher also said that the fire looked to be well in place in the Cieneguitas area, where he said it has likely burned at least some homes. He was seeing flames that looked to be at least 50 feet tall.
“The sky is all an orange glow,” he said. “All I can see in the sky is orange.” Cathedral Oaks is full of consistent traffic in both directions, including a lot of lookie-loos and people pulling over to the side of the road to take pictures. “Three or four people have told me to ‘get the hell out of here,'” he said.
Meagher described the mood as being much like the first night of the fire, with a sense of panic prevailing and people just not knowing where they should go or what they should do.
According to KEYT, people are also being evacuated in North San Antonio Road.
UPDATE: At 9:50 p.m., Meagher reported that the formerly jam-packed Cathedral Oaks Road is now empty. Both evacuees and lookie-loos seem to have departed for other areas of the county.
New Red Cross info, including Disaster Training
After evacuating its headquarters at 2707 State Street earlier today, the Santa Barbara County chapter of the Red Cross has returned. It will be staging a disaster training session at the Goleta Presbyterian Church at 6067 Shirrell Way tomorrow, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anyone interested in learning how they can help provide fire relief can register either at the church or at the Goleta Valley Community Center. This training is needed for anyone volunteer. For more information, call (805) 729-6885.
A Disaster Mental Health Class will be held for licensed psychiatrists, psychologists and MFTs only; those interested must bring credentials on Friday, May 8 to the Goleta Presbyterian Church. The class will be held from 8:30 to noon.
The Red Cross Emergency Shelter continues to be open at Dos Pueblos High School at 7266 Alameda Avenue in Goleta. Small animals can be taken to the Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Road in Goleta. Large animals can be evacuated to Earl Warren Showgrounds at 3400 Calle Real.
Water Conservation Encouraged County-wide
As a result of the Jesusita Fire and its potential impacts on water resources, the Carpinteria Valley and Montecito water districts are asking customers to conserve water as much as possible, using it only for essential purposes. Customers are being asked to not irrigate their landscaping, wash their vehicles, or use water for any other such activities.
Jesusita Fire Fact Sheet
At 9:20 p.m., the Office of Emergency Services sent out a fact sheet detailing basic info about the Jesusista Fire.
So far, 2,739 acres have been burned. Despite the recent growth, officials estimate the fire to be 10 percent contained. Assessment of structure damage is still progressing; so far 75 homes are estimated to have been damaged or destroyed. Around 4,715 homes have been put under evacuation orders. This equates to about 12,000 people. Another 5,200 homes are under evacuation warning. This equates to another 12,000 people. An estimated 3,500 residences and another 100 commercial properties are considered threatened.
Currently 2,303 personnel – that is, 246 engines, 62 crews – are on scene, as well as 10 air tankers and 15 helicopters. So far, 11 firefighters have been injured.
The cause is still under investigation. Those with information are encouraged to call (805) 686-5074.
The Jesusita Fire is estimated to have cost $1.8 million so far.