Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Painted Cave Fire.
“On June 27, 1990 at 6:02 pm a fire started up in the mountains near a place called Painted Cave. A long drought had made the brush very dry, and a several day heat wave was further drying up the area. Just as the sun was setting, strong winds began blowing the fire down the mountain towards town.
Two hours later the fire had done the impossible. It had traveled 5 miles downhill cutting a swath between Goleta and Santa Barbara setting afire entire neighborhoods in it’s path. The fire jumped the combination of our 6 lane freewayand the two side roads, Calle Real and Hollister and continued burning down stores, restaurants, businesses, apartment buildings, and more houses on the other side. All roads between Santa Barbara and Goleta were blocked by the fire, it was impossible to get from one side to the other.