Sherpa Fire Information and Updates

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Highway 101 is open.


Latest Updates

Information as of July 12, 2016 1:00 pm

  • The Sherpa Fire is being managed by the US Forest Service, which announced last night that the fire is 100 percent contained, but not completely under control. Los Padres fire patrols will continue to monitor the area until they declare the fire fully controlled when they are 100% certain there are no longer any hotspots or unburned areas within the fire perimeter that can reignite. A fire closure order has been signed by the Los Padres Forest Supervisor that forbids public entry into the burned area to provide for the fire patrols' safety and limit resource damage. As part of the closure order, West Camino Cielo Road is closed from Refugio Pass to the Winchester Gun Club.                                   

Information as of June 24, 2016 10:40 am

  • Fire is 93% contained 

Information as of June 23, 2016 1:52 pm

  • Fire is 93% contained                                      

Information as of June 22, 2016 10:45 am

  • Air Quality Warning Cancelled for Southern Santa Barbara County

Information as of June 22, 2016 10:00 am

  • 7,969 acres burned, 89% contained

Information as of June 21, 2016 6:45 pm

  • 7,969 acres burned, 82% contained

Information as of June 21, 2016 1:00 pm

Information as of June 21, 2016 12:30 pm

  • 22 dozers
  • 127 engines
  • 7 water tenders
  • 65 hand crews
  • 2178 personnel
  • 9 helicopters shown on ICS 209
  • 0 air tankers assigned

Information as of June 21, 2016 8:30 am

  • Containment: 70% (up from 62% on Mon night); Acres: 7,969 (up from 7,893)
  • Red flag warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Tuesday
  • Number of Personnel: 2178
  • Equipment/Personnel:
    • 14 dozers
    • 129 engines
    • 27 water tenders
    • 49 hand crews
    • Air support rotation of:
    • 18 helicopters
    • 4 air tankers
    • 1 DC-10

Information as of June 20, 2016 5:30 pm

  • Sherpa Fire evacuation areas have been reduced. Most mandatory evacuations within the Sherpa Fire (with the listed exceptions) will be reduced to evacuation warnings on June 22 at 5 a.m. Only landowners, residents and their farm laborers will be allowed to enter the following locations:
    • Venadito Canyon
    • Canada de la Destiladera
    • Las Flores Canyon and east of the Refugio burn area east to and including Calle Lippizana near the Equestrian Center.
  • El Capitan Canyon will remain closed with a tentative reopening of 6/25/16.
  • In Refugio Canyon, the area north of 1800 Refugio Canyon will remain under evacuation, with a tentative reopening of June 25. The road south of the 1800 block (also known as "The Narrows") will be closed to non-fire traffic between 7 to 9 a.m. and between 6 to 8 p.m. to allow safe passage of fire-fighting traffic.
  • California Department of Parks and Recreation announced on June 20 that Refugio State Beach will reopen to the public on Saturday, June 25. El Capitan State Beach will remain closed at least through July 15. This closure may extend beyond that date pending restoration of the water system damaged by the fire.
  • All areas formally in evacuation warning status, including Calle Lippizana east to Farren Road, Las Llagas Canyon, Gato Canyon, Las Varas Canyon, Dos Pueblos Canyon and Eagle Canyon will reopen without restriction on June 22 at 5 p.m.
  • The cancellation of evacuation orders are based on a variety of factors, including potential fire behavior and the re-establishment of crucial infrastructure. For additional re-population information, Santa Barbara County residents should contact the County's helpline by dialing 2-1-1 or (800) 325-9604, or visit Santa Barbara County online at countyofsb.org. For additional information on returning home after a wildfire, go to readyforwildfire.org.
  • SAFETY MESSAGE - The public is reminded to stay vigilant on current fire conditions. Please continue to adhere to any road closures and any evacuation warnings or advisories. If you see electrical wires on the ground, stay clear and contact Southern California Edison immediately. Trees and poles with deep charring, particularly if still smoking, should be considered hazardous. Please drive slowly as emergency personnel are in the area. As you re-enter your property and evaluate damage, be aware that hazardous conditions may exist, particularly if a residence or out-building has burned. Hazards may include asbestos, heavy metals, by-products of plastic combustion and various other chemicals.
  • For additional information, view the full press release ( Español).

Information as of June 20, 2016 12:30 pm

  • Despite strong winds last night the firefighters were able to hold the fire in check in order to build and reinforce containment lines.
  • Weather today will be hotter and drier than Sunday. There is still a very high potential for active fire.
  • Firefighters will continue to work on building and reinforcing containment lines along the north and east sides of the fire and along the Camino Cielo Ridge.
  • Aggressive aerial operations by both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters are suppressing the edge of the fire and giving support to ground crews with water and retardant drops.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented a temporary flight restriction for the airspace around the Sherpa Fire burn zone, including west Goleta and nearby incident command posts. This restriction applies to all piloted and non-piloted aircraft systems. Drones can pose a safety hazard and delay firefighting aviation operations.

Information as of June 19, 2016 07:00 pm

  • Current estimate of acres burned is 7,893 acres and 51% contained.
  • Continued threat to structures, agriculture crops, state parks, and critical infrastructure: communication sites, power lines, rail and Hwy 101.
  • Sundowner winds were observed over portions of the fire with gusts up to 55 mph. Relative humidity was lower at 10-15%.
  • Overall fire behavior was moderate yet the fire still has the potential to increase in activity.
  • Fire activity along Highway 101 is under continuous evaluation by fire managers and the California Highway Patrol. The Hwy may be closed again if the fire is determined to be a hazard to motorists.

Information as of June 19, 2016 06:00 am

  • Remains at 7811 acres and 45% containment.
  • Sundowner condition did not surface over the main fire area but access remains difficult due to the terrain and heavy fuel loading.
  • Expected small fire growth from last night once more accurate mapping occurs today.
  • 2016 personal assigned.
  • Estimated cost to date at 5.2 million.

Information as of June 19, 2016 12:01 am 

  • The updated estimate of acres burned is 7,811 and is 45% contained

Information as of June 18, 2016 11:45 am

  • Updated estimate of acres burned is 7,648 and is 45% contained

Information as of June 18, 2016 06:30 am

  • Fire at 7,063 acres, 24% contained

Information as of June 17, 2016 11:35 pm

  • Fire at 6,321 acres, 20% contained
  • Highway 101 and rail service remain open
  • The hard closure of Calle Real from El Capitan to Refugio Rd. remains in effect
  • There are no new evacuations.
  • Residents who live in West Goleta are encouraged to formulate an emergency evacuation plan.
  • A press conference will be held at 11 a.m. at Dos Pueblos High School located at 7266 Alameda Ave., 93117 Goleta, Calif., at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2016 to provide an update regarding the status of the Sherpa Fire. Representatives of Santa Barbara County Fire Department, US Forest Service, California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, California State Parks, Cal Fire and Santa Barbara County Public Health will be present.
  • There is a continued threat to structures, agriculture crops, state parks, and critical infrastructure:communication sites, power lines, rail and Hwy 101.
  • Primary fuel: brush, tall grass chaparral (65+ years of growth)
  • Weather conditions and wind significantly impact this fire. It is erratic and there are extreme wind-driven runs at times. This is why sometimes the fire behavior is worse at night. The forecast is for Sundowner afternoons-early morning, peaking Saturday evening.
  • Equipment/Personnel:
    • 4 dozers
    • 75 engines
    • 5 water tenders
    • 30 hand crews
    • 1230 personnel
    • Air support rotation of:
    • 13 helicopter
    • 6 large tankers
    • 2 DC-10s
  • One firefighter was injured (minor laceration)
  • One small water treatment building at El Capitan state beach burned
  • Air quality condition checks can be found at www.ourair.org
  • Crops damaged: avocado, lemon, olives, and ranch land. Value of damages unknown.
  • The Wake Center shelter is open, 300 N. Turnpike Road, Santa Barbara. It is currently sheltering 7 people. Small pets are OK.
  • Anyone in the evacuation area that needs assistance with small and large animals evacuations should call 681-4332.
  • Residents should call 211 or 1-800-400-1572 for more information, and continue to monitor this website and www.awareandprepare.org
  • For additional information, please read the full June 17, 2016, 11:35 pm Press Release.

Information as of June 17, 2016 06:30 pm

  • Fire at 5,866 acres, 20% contained
  • Personnel count is 1,230
  • Two-hundred seventy structures are under evacuation warning or mandatory evacuation orders
  • Animals should no longer be taken to Earl Warren Showgrounds. Anyone in the evacuation area needing assistance with animals, including livestock, should call (805) 681-4332


Information as of June 17, 2016 07:30 am

  • Fire at 4,000 acres, 5% contained


Information as of June 17, 2016 05:00 am

  • U.S. Highway 101 has been reopened.
  • East of the Refugio burn area out to Calle Lippizana near the equestrian center is under a mandatory evacuation order. Calle Lippizana to Farren Road remain under a warning.

Information as of June 16, 2016 11:10 pm

  • The closure of U.S. Highway 101 has been extended from Winchester Canyon Road (northbound) to Buellton at Highway 246 (southbound).

Information as of June 16, 2016 10:40 pm

  • Mandatory Evacuation Orders remain in effect for: El Capitan Canyon, El Capitan Ranch, El Capitan State Beach, Refugio State Beach, Refugio Canyon, Venadito Canyon and Las Flores Canyon.
    If you are in any of these areas, you should leave immediately. "Aware and Prepare" Emergency Notification Alerts were sent to almost 400 phone lines in the Mandatory Evacuation area.
  • An Evacuation Warning is in place east of El Capitan Canyon to Farren Road. The area includes: Canada de las Destiladera, Las Llagas Canyon, Gato Canyon, Las Varas Canyon, Dos Pueblos Canyon and Eagle Canyon.
    Individuals in the evacuation warning area should be ready to leave if given the order evacuate. Now is the time to gather your family members, pets and important documents in case you need to leave quickly.
  • U.S. Highway 101 remains between Winchester Canyon Road (northbound) and Mariposa Reina (soutbound).
  • Train travel is stopped north of Goleta at this time.

Information as of June 16, 2016 08:30 pm

  • U.S. Highway 101 is closed between Winchester Canyon Road (northbound) and Mariposa Reina (soutbound). View a photo of the 101 prior to the closure
  • Fire is estimated at 1,400 acres

Information as of June 16, 2016 06:30 pm

  • Fire is still estimated at 1,200 acres and 0% containment
  • No structures have been lost thus far
  • There are temporary road closures at Cathedral Oaks at Glen Annie and Alameda
  • A Sherpa Fire press conference is scheduled for Friday, June 17, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Dos Pueblos High School, located at 7266 Alameda Ave., Goleta, California


Information as of June 16, 2016 02:30 pm

  • The public is asked to avoid the area of Dos Pueblos High School and the area around Cathedral Oaks and Glenn Annie as this location is being used for staging crews and equipment in support of the Sherpa Fire.
  • Equipment and personnel deployed:
    • 21 crews
    • 4 dozers
    • 2 water tenders
    • 61 engines
    • 30 overhead
    • Total 812 personnel

Information as of June 16, 2016 10:45 am

  • A press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. today. Updates will be provided on public safety and evacuation status for people and animals, road closure status, firefighting efforts and containment, and air quality. Representatives of Santa Barbara County Fire Department U.S. Forest Service, California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, State Parks, Cal Fire and Santa Barbara County Public Health/Animal Services, and County Office of Emergency Management will be present.


Information as of June 16, 2016 09:15 am

  • U.S. Highway 101 has reopened but may close again in certain locations if conditions change


Information as of June 16, 2016 05:39 am

  • As of midnight, the wind driven fire had consumed approximately 1100 acres and continued burning in steep and rugged terrain.
  • Highway 101 will remain closed until further notice, northbound at Winchester Canyon and southbound at Buellton. Expect residual traffic throughout the area. 
  • There have been a number of areas with evacuation orders including Refugio Canyon, Las Flores, Venadito, El Capitan Campground, El Capitan Canyon, El Capitan Ranch, Ocean Mesa @ El Capitan and Refugio Campground.
  • Equipment prior to drop off of air support at night:
    • 8 air tanks – 2 were DC10's
    • 3 Helitankers
    • 3 Type 2 Heli (2 are County Sheriff/Fire)
    • 20 engines (5 from County)
  • About 250 personnel on scene, Wednesday evening
  • Emergency Operations Center activated at 10:37 pm, June 15

Information as of June 15, 2016 10:50 pm

  • Refugio Campground is to evacuate to Santa Ynez High School, 2975 E. Hwy 246, Santa Ynez. Sheriff will be on-scene until Red Cross can mobilize. Animal Services is mobilizing kennels for evacuees with small pets
  • Road Closures: 101 SB at Buellton and Northbound at Winchester

Information as of June 15, 2016 10:00 pm

  • Evacuation orders for Ocean Mesa at El Capitan, El Capitan Campground, El Capitan State Park
  • Equine evacuations must call for assistance to Animal Services, C/O Susan Klein-Rothschild at 805-896-1057.
  • CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION: The Evacuation Shelter is Wake Center, 300 Turnpike, Santa Barbara, 93111

Information as of June 15, 2016 8:00 pm

  • 150 acres burned per US Forest Service
  • Evacuation Center for people is being established at Wake Center, 300 Turnpike. The center will be open at 9:00 pm. Animal Services is mobilizing kennels for evacuees with small pets.
  • Equine evacuations must call for assistance to Animal Services at 805 681-4332

Information as of June 15, 2016 7:30 pm

  • The Sherpa Fire is approximately 50 acres.
  • There will be structures threatened until the fire is contained. The fire is burning towards the East, away from the Reagan Ranch.
  • The winds have increased significantly in the last hour and are predicted to become more erratic later in the evening.
  • The County in Unified Command with the USFS, who is lead agency. The fire is currently 100% in Federal territory although it has the potential to enter into County Fire responsibility area.
  • Smoke from the fire is impacting some areas of Goleta and North of Goleta.
  • Equipment:
    • There are currently 8 air tankers working the fire, with two of them being the large DC-10 ships.
    • There are 3 large helitankers, and 3 Type II helicopters, 2 of which came from our Sheriff/Fire ASU.
    • There are 20 fire engines deployed, with 5 of them being from our agency. Montecito and City Fire have also contributed one truck each.

Information as of June 15, 2016 6:03 pm (link)

  • A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for Refugio Canyon, Venadito Canyon and Las Flores Canyon including the refinery due to a vegetation fire. If you are in this area, please leave the area immediately.
  • An evacuation warning has been issued for El Capitan Canyon and El Capitan State Beach. Residents in this area should be ready in case conditions change and they are required to leave. If you are in the evacuation warning area, now is the time to gather your family, pets and personal belongings in case you are ordered to evacuate.
  • Hard Closure Calle Real from El Cap to Refugio due to Sherpa Fire
  • Reverse 911 calls were issued to 235 phone lines which include both the mandatory and evacuation warning areas.

Press Releases



Evacuation Information

Evacuation warning areas opened for access today includes Calle Lippizana east to Farren Road, Las Llagas Canyon, Gato Canyon, Las Varas Canyon, Dos Pueblos Canyon and Eagle Canyon. Mandatory evacuation areas have been reduced to warning areas today, with the exceptions listed below. Only landowners, residents and their farm laborers are allowed to enter areas designed as Evacuation Warning.

Evacuation Exceptions:

  • El Capitan Canyon will remain closed with a tentative reopening of June 25.
  • In Refugio Canyon, the area north of 1800 Refugio Canyon will remain under Mandatory Evacuation, with a tentative reopening of June 25. The road south of the 1800 block (also known as "The Narrows") will be reduced to a WARNING area, but, closed to non-fire traffic between 7 to 9 a.m. and between 6 to 8 p.m. to allow safe passage of fire-fighting traffic.

Refugio State Beach will reopen to the public on Saturday, June 25. El Capitan State Beach will remain closed at least through July 15.


Home Evacuation Checklist – How to Prepare for Evacuation

Returning Home After A Wildfire


Evacuation Checklist

Shelter Information

The Wake Center at 300 N. Turnpike Road is no longer in use but on stand-by status until June 23, 2016.




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