John & Anne Wiley

2016/07/24

Chilling

We’re having a heat wave, but so far have eluded local wildfires though there’s smoke both East and West of us. Today we again took off headed for a beach day at Oceano, and Campus Point was crowded with people chillin’ and surfing.

9293 UCSB Campus Point

9293 UCSB Campus Point

High over Solvang we could see that people were beating the triple-digit heat in the valley by taking advantage of cool water released from Cachuma Lake.

9345 Solvang Swimmers

9345 Solvang Swimmers

By then we could see that the western smoke plume from the fire near Monterey had shifted on shore at Oceano so we decided to follow the Santa Ynez River toward Lompoc. Along the way we saw a few more people enjoying the river.

9351 Water for a Thirsty Land

9351 Water for a Thirsty Land

This release helps preserve the water table downstream, where many people depend on well water. It also provides a cooling alternative to facing traffic to and from a beach. Before long, among the famous vineyards of Santa Rita Valley we came to the point where the last ponds disappear down into the parched sand.

9364 Last Drop

9364 Last Drop

Turning back toward home we reached the cooler air over Gaviota State Beach where many people from North and East converged to splash and relax.

9389 Cool Gaviota

9389 Cool Gaviota

Water activities were also popular at Refugio State Beach, where few visible traces of the recent pipeline oil spill remain.

9467 Refugio Rehabilitated

9467 Refugio Rehabilitated

Even El Capitan, mostly closed still due to water system damage by the Sherpa Fire, had crowds of day use beach goers.

9497 El Capitan Day Users

9497 El Capitan Day Users

Approaching downtown Santa Barbara we saw small kids wearing themselves out with delight under the watchful eye of parents and lifeguards at the Oak Park wading pool. Beneath the grand trees nearby, colorful parties and picnics huddled in the shade.

9548 Sun, Shade & Wade at Oak Park

9548 Sun, Shade & Wade at Oak Park

The popular playground was deserted, but when the pool closes and afternoon cooling begins some of the small fry will relocate and burn more calories chasing memories.

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2016/07/15

Battling Doom

This pic from 6/17 is striking to me. The sky is so overwhelmingly ominous with layers of smoke from the Sherpa Fire! Yet the DC-10 tanker is heading into the mouth of the dragon to drop fire retardant.

7533 Courage Over Fire

7533 Courage Over Fire

El Cap Spared

Going through more pix from our recent flights I came across this view down El Capitan Canyon to the State Park.

8530 El Cap Spared

8530 El Cap Spared

Not only were some of the trees and shrubs in and near the creek saved from the fire, but all of the buildings in the private canyon retreat center and campground and the State Beach Park beyond the freeway. Though the fire did briefly jump the freeway, the private canyon was spared and the only damage to the State park was to the water supply pump station. Once that pump is repaired the State park will reopen with no sign of the fire other than this scorched hillside to detract from the delight of Summer campers.

2016/07/07

Sherpa Northside

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 23:19

Here are a few more pix of the Sherpa (aka Scherpa, etc.) Fire burn area, along the North side. I’ve sent more and different pix to Edhat, that you can find using the “John On Edhat” link in the right column here. The first pic is looking along the ridge toward the East.

8558 Sherpa NW Corner

8558 Sherpa NW Corner

At the Northwest corner of the burned area is reportedly where the fire started, to the left of the swimming pool at the base of the hill. In this next pic, that area is far in the distance toward the Northwest below the low point in the ridge. You can see that they painted multiple lines of PhosCheck as the fire progressed. Higher up was probably both a secondary defense and extra protection for the ridge where there’s expensive telecomm equipment. They’d also want to prevent the fire cresting the ridge and moving down into the valley beyond.

8529 Along North Edge

8529 Along North Edge

Last is this view from near the Northeast edge, looking toward the South, looking down El Capitan and Las Flores Canyons to the beaches far into the distance.

8530 Down to the Sea

8530 Down to the Sea

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