The Rey Fire has burned 31,255 acres, 34% contained, as of Wednesday morning. The fire, which started August 18th, is burning away from populated areas but, with smoke billowing from the scene and hazy grey air blanketing the area, some residents from Santa Barbara to Carpinteria have been concerned. Firefighters have been allowing the fire to move eastward, through thick brush, but are making efforts to keep flames away from the Gibraltar Reservoir, a source of water for the South Coast. KEY News reports that the dam is about 3 miles away from the east side of the fire.
More than 1,700 fire personnel, some from across the USA, are working on the fire, and it’s being attacked by air as well with fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters dropping red fire retardant on flames. When it originally started, the fire was burning in steep, rugged terrain which was hard to access from the ground.
The cause of the fire has not been announced. Full containment is expected on August 31st.
People with asthma and other respiratory sensitivities have been bothered by the smoke. The Santa Barbara County Public Health officials urge people to limit outdoor exercise. In addition to this, fire restrictions have been elevated at the Los Padres National Forest. Wood and charcoal fires are not allowed, until the end of the fire season.
- East Camino Cielo has been closed between Paradise Road and Painted Cave to allow firefighting resources exclusive use of the route.
- Gibraltar Road is closed between E. Camino Cielo and Santa Barbara city limits.
- State Hwy 154 is open in both directions between Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara. Paradise Road remains closed due to the Rey fire.
- Check back in at KCSB.org and tune-in on air at 91.9 FM for daily updates. You an also call the Rey Fire Information Line at 805-681-4332.
Photo by Ken Pfeiffer Photography.