November 14

Montecito fire

22  comments


Just a quick update to let everyone know what’s going on.  MD and I came back to Santa Barbara only to get caught up in the latest fire.  We evacuated our house in Montecito (a suburb of Santa Barbara) last night and have been holed up in a hotel with lousy internet service since.  It looks like the fire has been pretty much contained, but everyone is worried that the 70+ MPH winds that drove the fire last night will come back up tonight.
I took the photo at the top of this post last night at a friend’s house not far from ours.  He was being evacuated as well, so when I went to help, we could see these flames looming up on the hill right down the street from him.  I clambered up onto the top of the SUV we were using to move his stuff and took the photo.  As I was taking the photo, the police were going door to door getting people to leave.  Pretty scary stuff.
Here is a link to an LA Times article that shows pretty much what’s going on.  If you haven’t read about any of houses belonging to any of the celebs mentioned burning to the ground, you can figure we will have escaped.  Based on where the fire is now, it will have to burn through Rob Lowe’s, Michael Douglas’s, Jeff Bridges’ and Oprah’s houses before it gets to ours. Keep your fingers crossed.
As soon as all this calms down and things get back to normal – by tomorrow, I hope – I’ll catch up on all the comments.  I was getting ready to put up Gary’s answers to the questions when all this happened.  I’ll get them up as soon as I can.


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  1. Thank you for the update. I’ve been worried about you guys. You’re the only low-carb doctor I know who can explain data to me and who looks like George Clooney. Definitely a keeper. I just read that perhaps 200 houses have been destroyed in the fire. Heartbreaking and frightening. Good luck to you.
    Hey Marly–
    A data explainer who looks like George Clooney. One out of two ain’t bad.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  2. omg…please take good care! i just heard that rob lowe’s house burned to the ground. if there is anything at all that you need, don’t hesitate to name it. will say a prayer for you and yours.
    Actually Rob’s house got missed. It is fine. But a whole lot of others burned.

  3. Prayers up for you and MD. I used to live in Santa Maria and those fires are just plain scary especially when the Santa Ana winds start up.
    Is it arson?
    As far as I know the cause hasn’t been determined yet.

  4. wondered if that was near you… scary stuff.
    lots of damage, but at least no celebrities were injured, heh heh.
    Wouldn’t want that to happen, would we?

  5. Living in SOCAL, I was ordered to evacuate 5 years ago when the Los Angeles National forest about 5 miles from my house was up in flames. I mistakenly decided to ride out the fire. Nothing happened to our house fortunately but living with the stench of the smoke in your house and outside for the next month was the worse. Here’s hoping nothing happens to your house.
    So far, there has been no stench at our house. But we just got back. I’m sure when the wind shifts, we’ll get a nose full.

  6. That IS scary. I sincerely hope your house escapes! Best wishes for continued safety and a big fire free zone around your house!
    Thanks for the good thoughts.

  7. Frank Ochoa is a childhood friend of mine. Do you, by any chance, know him and whether or not his home was destroyed?
    Thinking that since he has a somewhat high-profile job you might, indeed, know who he is.
    Thanks.
    I don’t know him, but I know who he is. Had his house gone down, I’m sure I would have heard about it.

  8. Dr. Mike,
    I thought about you last night when I heard about the fire in Santa Barbara on the evening news on TV and hoped your home had been spared. Glad to hear that all is well, so far.
    I was also planning, before I heard about the fire, to ask you (in a friendly manner of course!) about the answers from Gary Taubes as I talked with Gary on Thursday afternoon in Columbia, MO (he did his Obesity 101 presentation at the University of Missouri). I teasingly told him I had about a hundred some questions for him that I had printed from your blog site and he quickly, with a big smile on his face, indicated he had already sent you his responses. I was impressed with his fortitude, openess and patience in answering all the questions thrown at him by the meeting attendees.
    And I want to add my name to the long list of those who really appreciate your efforts in providing information/discussion of health and nutritional related material on this blogsite.
    Best Regards,
    Andy
    Thanks for the kind words and good thoughts. The questions (answers, actually) will be up soon.

  9. Please take care of yourself and MD as your very first priority! Glad you both safe and sound …
    Taking care of myself is ALWAYS my first priority. Oh, and MD, too.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  10. Oprahs house ! That seems biblical to me. Hope everything works out for you guys and you and your house come out of this unscathed.

  11. Mike (and Mary Dan), the forum community is thinking strong thoughts for both of you. Take care, and stay safe!
    Pass along our thanks. We escaped unscathed.

  12. Not fun. I’ve been watching the news and thought that you lived in that area. Can’t be an easy deal. Good Luck!
    Hey Estabano!
    We’re safe and sound. Missed us. Thanks for the good thoughts.
    UM

  13. I’m in Cypress, CA, and the sky is ashy. I think the ash is coming from the Corona/Yorba Linda, CA fire from the east. If I look west, I see a line in the sky that separates the ash from the clear blue sky. I hope your home is safe.
    The fire is under control up here – now we’ve got to drive through the one down there to get to a function tonight.

  14. Every year, like clockwork, California is struck by fires, causing major disruption and financial losses, although rarely loss of life.
    Oddly enough, Tijuana in Mexico, right across the border from San Diego passes the fire season more or less unscathed. Check next time you see a “fire map” on the internet such as this one: http://www.gearthblog.com/images/images1007/californiafires.jpg. Why? Could it be that Mexican citizens are more careful and don’t start the fires in the first place? Or that the fire department of Tijuana is much better than the ones in California cities like Los Angeles? I doubt.
    One thing I know for sure: in Mexico houses are built mostly from brick and mortar; roofs are made from ceramic tiles. Those things don’t burn, no matter what. Meanwhile in the United States houses are built mostly out of wood, cardboard and plastic foam. Even roofs are made of wood that, although supposed to be “fireproof”, burn quite well: you never see a burned down house with the roof tile sitting intact above the remains.
    Given the obvious danger of fires, one has to wonder why use such flammable materials. Could it be that the current situation is the ideal one, from the point of view of the housing industry? See, everyone has to buy fire insurance and the insurance companies are quite happy, even if they have so pay some policies from time to time – if they didn’t, nobody would buy the fire insurance in the first place. The burned down houses have to be rebuilt by the same building companies that made the inflammable things to begin with. So the building industry actually profit from the situation.
    Obviously the personal costs for the affected individuals are high. Those same individuals also have to pay not only the insurance but also the public services like fireman and police that help them in the emergency, plus the disruption and loss of productivity. But AFAIK, the construction industry has good lobbies but the affected persons do not. So the situation persists and the “fire industry” prospers.
    Obviously any solution has to be a collective one, like changing building codes. It doesn’t really cut it if I build a more expensive, really fireproof house, that sit next to piles and piles of fuel (a.k.a. other houses). My insurance premium and disruption would be the same, even without having my stuff burned to the ground.

  15. Dear Drs. Eades,
    As I read this in the paper this morning my first thought was of you two. I hope you are both well and safe and are able to be back in your own home soon.
    We’re back. Thanks for the good thoughts.

  16. Shameless name dropper!
    I just live in the same community (or celebrity enclave, as the media loves to put it). I don’t know them. I figured if their houses burned it would make the news, and their houses were all between ours and the fire. And I’m a shameless name dropper.🙂

  17. I live in Chino, a stone’s throw (or ember’s flight) from the Corona-Yorba Linda-Brea fires. No celebs in this neck of the woods, so there isn’t as much interest, but still . . . It brings home the old joke about how California has four seasons like everybody else–only ours are drought, earthquake, flood, and fire.
    Let’s not forget landslide season, too. Stay safe.

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