Fire

Ventura County Fire Department

The bodies of  34 victims have now been recovered, after a Santa Barbara dive boat caught fire early Labor Day morning near Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands. The 75-foot vessel, the 'Conception,' was a commercial diving boat with 39 people aboard. Five crew members survived. The cause of the fire is currently being investigated.  

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on its investigation into the September 2 disaster aboard the ‘Conception,’ the commercial dive boat that caught fire and sank while anchored in the Channel Islands. Of the 39 people aboard, 34 died in the blaze.

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

Caltrans closed northbound lanes of Highway 101 due to a fast-moving brush fire that broke out around 3 p.m. on Monday.

There could be an app for detecting wildfires

Apr 26, 2019
Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory

Predicting when a heat wave or wildfire hits in California could be as easy as looking to an app.

Five Cities Fire Authority

Arroyo Grande city officials and community members met for over four hours this week to consider if Arroyo Grande should stay in the Five Cities Fire Authority (FCFA), which isn’t actually comprised of five cities, it’s three—including Oceano and Grover Beach. The meeting came after city staff recommended Arroyo Grande leave the fire department, essentially dissolving it. Now San Luis Obispo County officials may be stepping in to help save it.

California wildfires: How you can help

Nov 14, 2018
NBC News

In response to the deadly fires that have burned through hundreds of thousands of acres and displaced thousands across California, organizations around the state are providing relief to the victims of these fires. Many are requesting monetary donations rather than items. Here are some of the ways you can help:

Shawn Hubler for CALmatters

Jen Burt lives with her husband and two kids in the woods not far from Grass Valley, in a four-bedroom foothill house in a stand of black oak and cedar trees. Tucked away on a private road, the five-acre spread is a hallmark California dream—and a potential California nightmare: It’s in wildfire country. Last February, Burt’s insurer of six years canceled her fire insurance. The scramble for new coverage was pricey and harrowing.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

UPDATE 07/19/18 9 AM

Calfire has revised the number of acres burned downward to 81 as of Thursday morning, and reports crews are about half-way (47 percent) to containing the blaze. 

UPDATE 07/18/18 5 PM

Calfire reports the forward progression of the fire has been stopped, and the blaze is 20 percent contained. It has burned 120 acres since sparking just before noon. 

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Wildfires continue to burn across California. In the northern part of the state, a fire that’s burned tens of thousands of acres and forced many to evacuate has now jumped into Oregon. Over the weekend a rash of high temperatures and dry winds sparked fires across the Central Coast and in southern California. A fast-moving fire in the city of Goleta tore through 100 acres and destroyed 13 homes in a matter of hours.

Anita Ritenour/Flickr

With a heat wave on the horizon, public safety officials along the Central Coast are reminding residents and visitors celebrating Independence Day that all fireworks are completely illegal to use or even possess. Except where they are legal.

CalFire

Pacific Gas and Electric announced this week that it is providing $2 million to local wildfire prevention organizations across California. Two are on the Central Coast.

After wildfires, winter flooding a threat to millions of acres

Oct 25, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

It's Flood Preparedness Week in California, and state officials say they're concerned about water-related dangers at the sites of recent fires, including the thousands of acres scorched this summer in the Whittier and Alamo fires.

Steep terrain hindering Huasna fire fight

Sep 21, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire SLO.

UPDATE 09/21/17: As of 6 p.m., CalFire reports the fire has grown to 244 acres and is 75 percent contained. 

Firefighters continue to battle what is currently a 70-acre vegetation fire northeast of Nipomo, in San Luis Obispo County.

Cal Fire says the Huasna Fire started at about 1:45 on Wednesday afternoon. It’s burning near Huasna Townsite Road and Huasna Road. As of 5 p.m. one cabin was threatened and crews were working to save it.

Cholame brush fire closes eastern end of Hwy. 41

Jul 24, 2017
Cal Fire SLO

A wildfire ignited Monday afternoon near Cholame, east of Paso Robles, burning on both sides of Highway 41, according to CalFire. The blaze, known as the Olive Fire, has burned 150 acres as of Monday evening.

Whittier Fire Update: 87 percent containment

Jul 23, 2017
Whittier Fire Incident Command

The wildfire that ignited July 8 near Lake Cachuma has burned 29 square miles as of Sunday. Fire officials report the Whittier Fire is now 87 percent contained, but it may be the end of the month before the forest blaze is totally extinguished.

Brush fire ignites on Nipomo Mesa

Jul 23, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire SLO

A vegetation fire broke out Thursday afternoon on the Nipomo Mesa in San Luis Obispo County. 

Update: Alamo Fire 100% contained

Jul 20, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire

The Alamo Fire burned for two weeks near the Twitchell Dam east of Santa Maria. On Thursday, CalFire reported firefighters have totally contained the blaze and will spend the next few weeks mopping up. The fire destroyed 45 square miles of oak woodland and one home.

Cambria brush fire forces evacuations

Jul 19, 2017
Megan Schellong/KCBX

UPDATE 7/19/17 8 A.M.: Firefighters extinguished the fire Tuesday night, with three acres burned. All streets are open. 

UPDATE 7/18/17 5 P.M.: Just before 5 p.m., evacuation orders were lifted and CalFire reported good progress made towards containment. 

A fire ignited early Tuesday afternoon in downtown Cambria, prompting San Luis Obispo County to issue evacuation orders for residences and businesses along Main Street and Bridge Street.

Vegetation fire ignites on Foxen Canyon Road

Jul 18, 2017
David Zaniboni/Santa Barbara County Fire

UPDATE 7/18/17 11 A.M.: As of Tuesday morning, 40 percent of the wildfire is contained, as firefighters held back the flames from burning more than 40 acres. Foxen Canyon Road is open.

UPDATE 7/17/17 6 P.M.: Forward motion on the fire stopped at 35 acres. 

Another vegetation fire ignites on Cuesta Grade

Jul 15, 2017

UPDATE 7/15/17 3:37 p.m.: CHP San Luis Obispo reports as of 2:50 p.m., all lanes of Hwy. 101 northbound are open and the fire is extinguished.

UPDATE 7/15/17 9:37 a.m.: Cal Fire says the forward progress of what's being called the Grade Fire has stopped. "Fire is holding to retardant lines and mid slope road. Crews working on hot spots and containment," the agency says in a tweet.

Sophia Mathews/@MsPhias

On the same afternoon the Whittier Fire ignited near a summer camp in Santa Barbara County, another fire broke out east of San Miguel, on the border of rural eastern Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties.

Brush fire closes Hwy. 101 lanes at Cuesta Grade

Jul 7, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire SLO

The Tower Fire that burned 58 acres near the Cuesta Grade is 100 percent contained, CalFire announced at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. 

Residents fleeing Hill Fire find refuge at Red Cross evacuation center

Jun 27, 2017
Megan Schelllong/KCBX

As of Tuesday evening, the Hill Fire burning east of Santa Margarita, in San Luis Obispo County, is 60 percent contained. Since the fire started Monday afternoon around 3:30 p.m., it has burned approximately 1600 acres and at least one home in a rural area of the county. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued Monday evening - that order is lifted as of 7 p.m. June 27. KCBX News visited the evacuation center set up by the American Red Cross and there we met resident Marie Burd, who was forced to flee the home she shares with her husband, a Cal Poly professor, on Monday night.

UPDATE: Canyon Fire grows to more than 12,000 acres as crews gain containment

Sep 19, 2016
Mike Eliason Santa Barbara County Fire Department

UPDATE: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 5:46 p.m.

Containment of the Canyon Fire burning on Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in Santa Barbara County was growing Wednesday. In addition, VAFB officials said growth was slowing. 

USFS video still

The U.S. Forest Service wants more women to consider a career in firefighting and as a result, will host a first-ever training camp for women here in California. 

UPDATE: Camp Roberts brush fire now in 'mop-up' mode

May 18, 2016
Camp Roberts Facebook Page

UPDATE: Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 3:54 p.m.

The Comander of Camp Roberts says crews are mostly in the mop-up stage of controlling a roughly 3500 acre fire on installation grounds.

Cuesta Fire: Not everyone leaves when 'mandatory evacuations' are issued

Aug 18, 2015

Those evacuated from the Cuesta Fire are anxiously awaiting word that they can return to their homes.

CAL FIRE SLO

UPDATE: Aug. 17, 2015 at 7:19 p.m.

The size of the Cuesta Fire grew rapidly on Monday. CAL FIRE said Monday night that 500 acres had been scorched since the series of small fires along Highway 101 were first ingited on Sunday night.

CAL FIRE SLO

UPDATE: August 17, 2015 at 10:17 a.m.

Crews working to contain a 100 acre brush fire burning along Highway 101 on the Cuesta Grade, just north of San Luis Obispo, will focus their efforts Monday on keeping the fire from spreading into the Santa Lucia Wilderness. In addition, they'll be protecting power lines and communication towers threatened by the fire.

Flickr member: KOMUnews

Our intense drought has Central Coast fire protection agencies boosting their efforts to crack down on the use of illegal fireworks.

Pages