Dear Santa Barbara County Fire Department,
There are truly no words to express our gratitude for what your team of firefighters were able to accomplish in fighting and extinguishing the Caballo Fire in Santa Ynez/Los Olivos on September 6, 2021. It was a day where every single member of our community feared the worst and instead resulted in an outcome than none of us believed was possible. Once we saw the size and intensity of the fire, we never thought that your team would manage to put out the blaze without losing a single structure. This outcome is directly attributed to the teamwork, heroics, and culture your team displayed in not only fighting a fire but saving a community.
To begin, we were all in awe with how quickly you responded to the blaze. As we all know, it was a quick-moving fire in some of the driest conditions on record. Before many of the residents in Rancho Ynesita were even aware of what was going on, your team was on it and attacking it head on. Within minutes trucks were rolling in, boots were on the ground, firefighters were battling flames, and air tankers were carrying out precision strikes. We are aware that there were several units ranging from Lompoc to San Luis Obispo joined the fight, and watching the teams lock arms was nothing short of inspiring. It was a remarkably well-coordinated effort all the way around.
Beyond this debt of gratitude, perhaps the biggest gift your team of firefighters left us with was a sense of well-being and being cared for by a broader community. I can’t tell you how many residents we’ve spoken to who have said that the firefighters went out of their way to check in with community members. We saw them caring for and reassuring families that everything would be okay and that they had everything handled. In desperate moments like this where you get to see true leadership, and your team displayed that every step of the way.
On behalf of the Rancho Ynesita Homeowners Association Board of Directors and all its homeowners, we simply say THANK YOU!! Thank you for sparing our dreams and saving this community.