Santa Barbara’s wildfire is being bombarded with air assaults from jet air tankers and helicopters.

The fire – six miles from Goleta, west of Santa Barbara – has grown to 7,811 acres. The Sherpa Fire remains at 45% containment.

On Friday the County of Santa Barbara declared an Emergency.

According to one local: “The air attack response was immediate — the heavy tankers, including a DC-10, helicopters, and smaller aircraft were on the fire within minutes.”

Folk are contacting Edhat ( with fire information:

“A total of 1,230 firefighters are responding, accompanied by a number of air tankers and helicopters. The estimated incident costs to date are $1.5 million, and a unified command of the U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE, and Santa Barbara County Fire is overseeing operations.

“At 10:10 a.m. Friday morning, the County of Santa Barbara declared a Local Emergency, which frees up all area resources for response and evacuation efforts. The designation also allows Governor Jerry Brown to declare a State of Emergency if the situation worsens.

“Today’s air assault on the Scherpa Fire commenced at 8:30 a.m., with one DC-10, four four-engine jet air tankers, and one CAL FIRE S-2 air tanker, according to Jim Kunkle, who runs the Central Coast Jet Center out of Santa Maria’s airport, where all the tankers are loaded and launched with fuel and chemical fire retardant.

Kunkle said there at least 15 helicopters parked at the Santa Ynez Airport as well. “Pretty much everything they need, they’ve gotten,” Kunkle said.”

Another poster states: “Though the cause of the Scherpa Fire hasn’t been made public yet, the focus has been on getting ahead of the blaze and slowing its rate of expansion down to the point that a combination of air attack resources, dozers, hand and engine crews, and hot shots can make a difference.

“The air attack response was immediate — the heavy tankers, including a DC-10, helicopters, and smaller aircraft were on the fire within minutes. The Type 2 and 3 engines and dozers were not far behind. Firefighters focus every effort on putting maximum resources on the fire to slow things down to the point that they can begin “building a box” around the flames using roads, dozer lines, hand lines, and the like to create a containment zone. In steep, rugged land like that along the eastern flank of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the challenge is immense.”

John Wiley writes: In the full-size originals of yesterday evening’s aerial pix we could see firefighters scattered all over the mountains. The closest view in that batch Ed posted late last night shows a group of fire vehicles going after that hilltop spot fire well East of the main Eastern edge. The aerial assault was massive too, with non-stop drops including the big DC-10 jet. It’s surprising to me how spotty the burned areas are, even inside the official perimeter. The difference in views of the first two pix I put on our blog last night is like going from lovely day to the darkest night.”




From east of the Refugio burn area, Refugio State Beach: Refugio Canyon, Canada del Venadito Canyon, Las Flores Canyon, El Capitan Canyon, El Capitan Ranch, El Capitan State Beach, Canada de la Destiladera.


Areas east of El Capitan Canyon to Farren Road: Las Llagas Canyon, Gato Canyon, Las Varas Canyon, Dos Pueblos Canyon, Eagle Canyon.

The County of Santa Barbara and its partners continue to make the safety of the public and firefighters the highest priority as the fight to contain the Sherpa Fire continues.

Local residents are asked to monitor the status of the fire and find related information online at Residents may also sign up for “Aware and Prepare” alerts at

Everyone potentially affected by the fire needs to remain vigilant, as conditions can change rapidly. Anyone in serious danger should contact 911 and evacuate immediately.

County of Santa Barbara Fire, Sheriff, Office of Emergency Management and Public Health departments have posted information on their social media including Twitter, Facebook and Nixle.