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Jesusita Fire

2 Ratings: -5.0
A wildfire in Santa Barbara, CA, that started May 5, 2009

Local News Coverage by the Independent: http://www.independent.com/news/2009/may/06/...fire-rages-out-control/      Website with some fire information and links: http://jesusitafire.org/      An incredible map … see full wiki

Tags: Santa Barbara, Jesusita Fire, Wildfire
1 review about Jesusita Fire

The Jesusita Fire Is a Nightmare, But the Community is Amazing

  • May 7, 2009
  • by
Rating:
-5
Santa Barbara is confronting its third major wildfire in less than a year. The Jesusita Fire, nestled in the front country of the nearby mountains between the areas burned in the Gap and Tea fires, started yesterday before 2 p.m.

It's eating up the dry brush, causing traffic to halt to a standstill along Highway 101, endangering the firefighters who are working to protect homes and lives, knocking out power and raining ash down on the city. My review: It's a tragedy.

But I'm incredibly impressed by the Santa Barbarans themselves. This may be a result of the experience of the previous fires or maybe it's the movement toward online media that was accelerated by the controversy at the daily paper the News-Press, but they're communicating quickly and talking about what matters.

Yesterday I was able to watch streaming media from a news helicopter. Reverse 911 calls went out to residents in affected areas. The local news station, KEYT, covered the fire for at least nine hours straight. Local Websites like www.independent.com and www.edhat.com posting continuous updates.

And citizens are contributing to the journalism, submitting comments and photos. And, unlike they L.A. media that flew in yesterday, locals know that it's "Tunnel" Road not "Runnel." And we don't pronounce the canyon name as "San Rowkay." We have photos from almost every vantage point around town. Of course, they're also Twittering. I'd say more about this, but I'm not yet hip enough to tweet.

People have made google maps and ID'd the fire area, evacuation areas, shelters and places to take animals large and small. The Red Cross was instantly mobilized and serving dinner last night.

And, of course, friends are opening their homes to people in mandatory evacuation areas, which now includes neighborhoods comprising thousands of houses.

The response has been swift. The participation has been broad. I don't like the looks of the black cloud in the sky, but I sure like my neighbors.

Photo by Marc Libert.
Jesusita Fire May 6, 2009

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July 07, 2009
I remember this.  I was shocked at how many wildfires there were in Southern California in the past year, glad that this one was contained and put out relatively fast.  Thank goodness for twitter, Google Maps, and helpful, vigilante people!
 
May 11, 2009
I couldn't agree more. Most impressive was the twitter search function. I am in LA and my parents are in SB. The only way I could get really up to date (actually instantaneous) news was through twitter search. Updates from people that were close to the fire. Pictures from people all over town and a fireman that was twittering important facts about the fires progress every five minutes. For those twitter skeptics. Keep in mind how useful it can be in a disaster.
 
May 07, 2009
Here's another site with information and links about the fire: http://jesusitafire.org/
 
May 07, 2009
It is amazing to see how communities can rally together when facing such a crisis. Particularly in Santa Barbara it seems more common to hear "how can I help" rather than "I can't believe this is happening to me".
 
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