I drove to Montecito tonight. I've started playing music at the church we have been attending and tonight was the scheduled rehearsal. I had driven by on HWY-101 several times since the fire, but this was the first time to actually go into Montecito.
The smell of smoke was still in the air. Several signs of "Thank You Firefighters", some big and elaborate, some small and modest, were hanging from fences and between trees.
This is how close the fires got to the church.
The adjacent diagram tells the story from a different perspective. Here is an excerpt from the official "loss of property" from the Santa Barbara county. The burn area just touches the corner of the church.
We are new to the area, so we don't know too many people. But this part of the "Central Coast" has a strong sense of community. People wave at each other on the streets. On the radio, they were naming some of the folks who has lost homes or suffered injury. Turns out that one of the injured is a friend of the DJs.
We don't know anyone who suffered any loss, but we are one degree of separation from several who have lost their homes. And now the healing begins. FEMA is here. Spots on the radio mention insurance teams with 24-hour call numbers. Calls and emails for extra clothes, books, beds, cars, rooms, trucks, and other items are making their rounds.
Some more info on the fire, and the general geography around where we live.
Here is a map that shows the area, the evacuation zones, road closures, and some celebrity homes. Thanks to google-mashup!View Larger Map
The area of CA around here is part of the "Central Coast". As you travel on north HWY101 (known as Ventura Freeway in LA), you pass thru out of LA County, thru Ventura County, then hit Santa Barbara County. The first city in Santa Barbara County is Carpinteria (where we live). This is the string of cities south to north (or really from east to west):
As you can see, the ocean is to the south of this area, so as you hear directions, please keep in mind that "from the hills" is "from the north".
We are about 5-10 miles or so from the fires. The winds were not blowing in our direction, so we didn't even smell the smoke, until about an hour ago.
Don't ask me how I got to this page, but you can buy a UFO Detector
But don't waste your money on this one; there's a newer, better model
. It does look fancier, but I'll leave it to the experts to tell me if it works better.
Actual quotes from reviews:
"I purchased this item and am blown away by its effectiveness."
"Anyone serious about UFO hunting and exploration. needs this for their kit."
" Sure enough, one of those b*stards was right in my living room!"
Oh yea, this reminds me. I should edit my Amazon browsing history