Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: Lake, Santa Barbara
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: LPF
  • Size (acres): 34,707
  • Percent Contained: 16%
  • Estimate of Containment: July 31, 2024
  • Personnel: 3,411
  • Structures Destroyed: 0

Lake, Los Padres NF, USFS. CIMT (CA Team 13). IMT1 (Cal Fire Team 5) mobilizing. Nine miles northeast of Los Olivos, CA. Grass, chaparral and timber. Extreme fire behavior with torching, long-range and shortrange spotting. Structures threatened. Evacuations, area, road and trail closures in effect.

July 12, 2024 at 11:14 AM

The Lake Fire is split into a North and South Zone as the fire expands in acreage and personnel. The fire remains under Unified Command with California Complex Incident Management Team 13, Santa Barbara County Fire, Santa Barbara County Sheriff and CAL FIRE, with two fire camps to support firefighting efforts.

North Zone Fire Activity: On the north end, the fire continues to slowly back down to the Sisquoc River. Fire crews have spent several days preparing this area to hold the fire at the river. The fire is slowly working its way down Lion Canyon. To the east, the fire continues to hold along Zaca Ridge. On the south end, the fire continues to actively move south and east through the Davey Brown area, Ranger Peak and Goat Rock areas. Once holding lines are secure, tactical firing operations will be used in the coming days to reduce burnable fuels ahead of the fire. Ground crews continue to work with various aircraft as needed to assist with suppression tactics.

South Zone Fire Activity: Firefighters have conducted firing operations to create a buffer zone in areas of the fire, and they continue to strengthen control lines, identifying and extinguishing any remaining hot spots within the fire perimeter. Today, crews continue to actively fight fire while working on strengthening containment and control lines.

Forecast for Friday: No significant changes are expected. Winds will remain in a westerly direction, with speeds generally light at 5-10 mph and gusts up to 15 mph, with some local gusts reaching 25 mph on ridges above 3500 feet. Afternoon highs will return to the 90s to near 100, with relative humidity values dropping to 10-20%.

Smoke: The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) have updated the Air Quality Alert which includes the Santa Ynez Valley and other areas in close proximity to the Lake Fire.

Los Padres National Forest recreation areas with the Santa Barbara and Santa Lucia Ranger Districts may be impacted by smoke and ash from the Lake Fire. A portion of the Los Padres NF is closed, please refer to the Closure order and Closure map for further information.

July 11, 2024 at 11:20 AM

Tactical firing operations will continue over the next couple of days on the south and south-east side of the fire to control fire spread. A large spot fire crossed the line yesterday but is being tied back via dozer line to the planned control lines. Westerly winds are assisting firefighters in keeping the fire from moving west toward ranches and communities.

Crews will be continuing to improve primary and contingency lines in the northern portion of the fire area with the intent of burning out along certain portions to create solid control lines. Along much of the east portions of the fire, little growth has been seen as the fire moves into the 2007 Zaca Fire scar.

FUELS ADVISORY: Precipitation and temperature alignments throughout the winter and spring of 2024 have resulted in an above average load of herbaceous fuels across many grass-dominated systems throughout California. The above normal grass and herbaceous load creates a continuous fuel bed, allowing for rapid spread of fires when these fuels are cured. The continuous nature of the herbaceous fuel bed is enhanced by remnant thatch resulting from herbaceous growth during the abnormally wet late summer and fall of 2023 and multiple consecutive years of above average herbaceous growth. View Fire and Fuels Advisory.

WEATHER: A Red Flag Warning remains in effect today with strong winds, potential for longer fire spotting distances along with hot, dry conditions. Due to the inversion layers, it is 40 to 50 degrees warmer above the 2000′ level than it is along the lower, coastal areas. This warmer, dry, and windy weather will result in increased fire growth relative to previous days.

Lake Fire Background: On July 5, 2024, firefighters from the Los Padres National Forest and Santa Barbara County Fire responded to a vegetation fire near Zaca Lake that grew rapidly through grass and brush during a prolonged heat wave across the west coast. Some road closures and evacuation orders have been implemented. A significant number of firefighting resources are working the incident, including handcrews, engines, dozers, and air resources for water and retardant drops.

EVACUATION ORDERS - View the Santa Barbara County 2024 LAKE FIRE Incident Map to see if your property falls within the highlighted areas.

The following areas are under an EVACUATION ORDER:

  • Woodstock (Areas north of Calzada Ave, east of E. Oak Trail Rd., west of Happy Canyon, and south of the Sisquoc River)
  • Goat Rock Areas (Area of Goat Rock, east of Figueroa Creek, north of the US Forest Service entrance at Happy Canyon Road, and south of Cachuma Mountain)
  • SB Ranger area (remote forest area east of Goat Rock)
  • Parts of the Figueroa Mountain area as follows: south of Tunnel House at Sisquoc River, east of Figueroa Creek, north of the southern end of Cachuma Mountain, and west of Los Padres National Forest areas
  • All areas from Figueroa Mountain Road at Junction Camp (including Tunnel Rd) to Chamberlin Ranch and all areas from Zaca Lake Rd at Foxen Canyon Road north to the Sisquoc River including east of Foxen Canyon Road to the 9000 block.

The following areas are under an EVACUATION WARNING:

  • Area starting at the south end of Cachuma Creek, northeast of Santa Cruz Creek to Santa Cruz Peak, west through Grand Spring, and to the northern part of Cachuma Creek.
  • Area east and north of Alisos Rd (L-shaped road), west of Cachuma Creek, and south of the US Forest Service entrance at Happy Canyon Road.
  • Area east of Highway 154, north of Armour Ranch Road/Secretariate St, west of Alisos Rd, and south of the Woodstock area.
  • Area east of Figueroa Mountain Road, north of Highway 154, west of Calzada Ave/W Oak Trail Rd and south of Woodstock Rd.

Note: Highway 154 is not within the Evacuation Warning and remains open at this time.

ROAD CLOSURES

  • Happy Canyon Road at the Forest Service Boundary
  • Foxen Canyon Road at the Zaca Station Road and Alisos Canyon Road
  • Figueroa Mountain Road at Midland School.

To sign-up or update your account for Santa Barbara County Alerts, please visit: Prepare | Santa Barbara County, CA - Official Website (readysbc.org)

AREA CLOSURE: The Los Padres National Forest has issued an area closure for lands affected by the Lake Fire. View the Closure Order & Closure Order Map.

SMOKE: Visit AirNow to find out the Air Quality Index in your area. As smoke gets worse, the amount of particles in the air increases- and so do the steps you should take to protect yourself. visit AirNow for precautions you can take to protect your health when air pollution gets bad. The Santa Barbara County Ai Pollution Control Board has issue warnings and suggestions for air quality related to the Lake Fire.

Drones: Federal, state, and local wildland fire management agencies and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urge members of the public not to fly “Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)” or drones over or near wildfires. Unauthorized drone flights pose serious risks to firefighter and public safety and the effectiveness of wildfire suppression operations. Drone PSA - Youtube.

July 10, 2024 at 10:36 AM

Overall, a quiet night on the fire. Tactical firing operations will continue ahead of the fire to control fire spread. Significant fire activity on the southeast side of the fire footprint has prompted additional evacuations and an increase in acreage. Since the start of the Lake Fire, 1,500 people have been evacuated. There have been some firefighter injuries but they were not life threatening. Medical response has been quick and effective as firefighter safety remains the top priority. An excessive heat warning continues in the fire area.

July 10, 2024 at 7:29 AM

Fire growth was primarily to the southeast with high intensity, aggressive burning, active torching, and mid-range spotting. Rapid rates of spread observed. The portions of the fire above the marine layer are active throughout the night. Slope-reversal with rapid uphill runs were observed in many areas. Aviation resources were able to limit growth in a few critical areas but limited in other areas due to smoke.

Firefighter safety and quick medical response to illness or injury remains the top priority as crews are on the watch out for heat exhaustion and are working in hazardous terrain.

FUELS ADVISORY: Precipitation and temperature alignments throughout the winter and spring of 2024 have resulted in an above average load of herbaceous fuels across many grass-dominated systems throughout California. The above normal grass and herbaceous load creates a continuous fuel bed, allowing for rapid spread of fires when these fuels are cured. The continuous nature of the herbaceous fuel bed is enhanced by remnant thatch resulting from herbaceous growth during the abnormally wet late summer and fall of 2023 and multiple consecutive years of above average herbaceous growth. View Fire and Fuels Advisory.

WEATHER: A Red Flag Warning goes into effect at 12:00 today with strong winds, potential for longer fire spotting distances along with hot, dry conditions. Due to the inversion layers, it is 40 to 50 degrees warmer above the 2000′ level than it is along the lower, coastal areas. This warmer, dry, and windy weather will result in increased fire growth relative to previous days.

Lake Fire Background: On July 5, 2024, firefighters from the Los Padres National Forest and Santa Barbara County Fire responded to a vegetation fire near Zaca Lake that grew rapidly through grass and brush during a prolonged heat wave across the west coast. Some road closures and evacuation orders have been implemented. A significant number of firefighting resources are working the incident, including handcrews, engines, dozers, and air resources for water and retardant drops.

July 9, 2024 at 10:24 AM

Current Fire Activity: Significant fire activity was in the wilderness area on the east side of the fire footprint. It resulted in significant smoke and expanded evacuation orders for remote areas. The main priority is to prevent the fire from moving toward communities to the south. There is a Red Flag Warning issued for the fire area with strong winds, potential for longer fire spotting distances along with hot, dry conditions. Damage assessments are ongoing as crews locate any structures impacted by the fire. Public Information Officers return to Santa Ynez today and will place fire information at key locations. Firefighter safety and quick medical response to illness or injury remains the top priority as crews are on the watch out for heat exhaustion and are working in hazardous terrain.

Lake Fire Background: On July 5, 2024, firefighters from the Los Padres National Forest and Santa Barbara County Fire responded to a vegetation fire near Zaca Lake that grew rapidly through grass and brush during a prolonged heat wave across the west coast. A significant number of firefighting resources are working the incident, including hand crews, engines, dozers, and air resources for water and retardant drops. The fire is under Unified Command with California Complex Incident Management Team 13, Santa Barbara County Fire and CAL FIRE.

Effective Monday, July 8, the following areas have been updated for EVACUATION WARNINGS and EVACUATION ORDERS due to threats to life and safety caused by the Lake Fire. This is a remote area.

  • EVACUATION ORDER has been expanded
    An evacuation order is in place for parts of the Figueroa Mountain area as follows: south of Tunnel House at Sisquoc River, east of Figueroa Creek, north of the southern end of Cachuma Mountain, and west of Los Padres National Forest areas. Leave the area immediately.
  • EVACUATION WARNING has been expanded
    An evacuation warning is in place for the area of Goat Rock, east of Figueroa Creek, north of the US Forest Service entrance at Happy Canyon Road, and south of Cachuma Mountain.

July 9, 2024 at 7:40 AM

Most of the fire ignition and growth is in the southeast portion of the fire with more fire activity in the overnight hours. The fire is burning in grass, brush and timber, and is currently 21,763 acres and 8% contained. Aviation resources were able to limit growth in some critical areas but had limitations due to smoke. Additional fire growth is possible in the coming days with wind driving fire spread and record low moisture levels. Evacuation orders are in place.

Large area ignition and growth to the southeast. High intensity and aggressive burning, active torching, mid-range spotting, Rapid rates of spread observed. Some areas are much more active at night. Slope- reversal with rapid uphill runs were observed in many areas.

Active and high intensity fire behavior along all flanks but the most active is on the southeast flank. Aviation resources were able to limit growth in a few critical areas but limited in other areas due to smoke. Several large smoke columns were observed.

July 8, 2024 at 9:38 AM

Most of the fire ignition and growth is in the southeast portion of the fire with more fire activity in the overnight hours. The fire is burning in grass, brush and timber. Aviation resources were able to limit growth in some critical areas but had limitations due to smoke. Additional fire growth is possible in the coming days with wind driving fire spread and record low moisture levels. Evacuation orders are in place.

Lake Fire Background: On July 5, 2024, firefighters from the Los Padres National Forest and Santa Barbara County Fire responded to a vegetation fire near Zaca Lake that grew rapidly through grass and brush during a prolonged heat wave across the west coast. Some road closures and evacuation orders have been implemented. A significant number of firefighting resources are working the incident, including handcrews, engines, dozers, and air resources for water and retardant drops.

Unified Command: California Complex Incident Management Team 13, Santa Barbara County Fire and CAL FIRE.

Evacuations: Effective Sunday July 7, the following areas have been updated for EVACUATION WARNINGS and EVACUATION ORDERS due to threats to life and safety caused by the Lake Fire.

  • EVACUATION WARNING has been issued for the identified properties and parcels north of Calzada Ave, east of E. Oak Trail Rd, west of Happy Canyon, and south of the Sisquoc River areas.
  • EVACUATION WARNING is still in effect for the areas north of Zaca Lake Road, east of Foxen Canyon Road, and from the 9000 block and north to the Sisquoc River (including Rancho Sisquoc).
  • EVACUATION WARNING upgraded to EVACUATION ORDER for all areas from Figueroa Mountain Road at Junction Camp (including Tunnel Rd) to Chamberlin Ranch and all areas from Zaca Lake Rd at Foxen Canyon Road north to the Sisquoc River including east of Foxen Canyon Road to the 9000 block.
  • ALL EVACUATION WARNINGS and EVACUATION ORDERS in effect may be reviewed at Lake Fire Incident - July 2024 | Incendio Lake | Santa Barbara County, CA - Official Website (readysbc.org)

Residents can utilize the Santa Barbara County 2024 LAKE FIRE Incident Mapto type in their address to see if their property falls within the highlighted areas.

Shelter: American Red Cross has opened a shelter at Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall - 1745 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463.

Road Closures:

  • Happy Canyon Road at the Forest Service Boundary
  • Foxen Canyon Road at the Zaca Station Road and Alisos Canyon Road
  • Figueroa Mountain Road at Midland School

July 7, 2024 at 8:16 PM

The fire is burning in grass, brush and timber in rugged terrain that is difficult for fire crews to access in certain areas. Santa Barbara County has issued evacuation orders for Figueroa Mountain Road from 5380 Figueroa Mountain Road (also known as the Grass Mountain Trail Head) to the neighborhood within Sawmill Basin, including Tunnel Road and the Figueroa Campground. An evacuation warning North of Zaca Lake Road, east of Foxen Canyon Road, and South of the Sisquoc River.

California Complex Incident Management Team 13, led by Incident Commander Boehm, has taken operational control of the fire under Unified Command with Santa Barbara County Fire and Cal Fire. Cooperators working on this incident include Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Management, Santa Barbara County Department of Public Works, the Chumash Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol and California Office of Emergency Services.

July 7, 2024 at 7:42 AM

Los Padres National Forest is in Unified Command with CAL FIRE and Santa Barbara County Fire Department. Complex Incident Management Team 13 will assume operational command of the fire at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning. Fire crews will be focused on life and property for their top priorities. They will be providing structure protection to values at risk. When they are able to construct fire line on the fires edge they will do so. They are also constructing fire line in locations where they find opportunities for successfully stopping the advancing fire. In the next 24 hours the fire has potential for large growth. The fire will continue to burn to the northwest and south cardinal directions.

On July 5th, 2024, at approximately 4:00 p.m., firefighters from the Los Padres National Forest and Santa Barbara County Fire responded to a vegetation fire near Zaca Lake. The Lake Fire is currently 13,264 acres this afternoon, with 0% containment, and continues to actively burn. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

A significant number of firefighting resources have been ordered for the incident, including hand-crews, engines, dozers, and fixed and rotor wing aircraft. A Complex Incident Management Team will take operational control of the fire tomorrow morning (7/7/24). This will allow the initial fire crews and managers to get some rest.

Fire crews currently assigned are fighting the fire aggressively with the public and their safety as the top priority.

EVACUATION ORDERS - View the Interactive Esri Evacuation Map

  • Figueroa Mountain Road from the Forest Station to Chamberlin Ranch.
  • Sheltering support call 805-678-3073; Animal evacuations call 805-698-0212.
  • Are you a farmer or rancher, and need limited access to your property? Learn about the Santa Barbara Ag Pass Program. Advanced registration and training required.

EVACUATION WARNINGS

  • North of Zaca Lake Road, east of Foxen Canyon Road, and South of the Sisquoc River.

ROAD CLOSURES

  • Happy Canyon Road at the Forest Service Boundary
  • Foxen Canyon Road at the Zaca Station Road and Alisos Canyon Road
  • Figueroa Mountain Road at Midland School.

To sign-up or update your account for Santa Barbara County Alerts, please visit: Prepare | Santa Barbara County, CA - Official Website (readysbc.org)

WEATHER: An EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING through next week continues to affect the fire with high temperatures, drying vegetation, and little relief at night. The National Weather Service has reported that “A heat wave this intense, this long, has not been experienced in this region in 20 years.”

SMOKE: Visit AirNow to find out the Air Quality Index in your area. As smoke gets worse, the amount of particles in the air increases- and so do the steps you should take to protect yourself. visit AirNow for precautions you can take to protect your health when air pollution gets bad.

Drones: Federal, state, and local wildland fire management agencies and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urge members of the public not to fly “Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)” or drones over or near wildfires. Unauthorized drone flights pose serious risks to firefighter and public safety and the effectiveness of wildfire suppression operations. Drone PSA - Youtube.