Friday, November 14, 2008

Tea Fire Montecito, Santa Barbara 100+ Homes Destroyed

Last night around 6:00 P.M. a fire started in Montecito that has destroyed over 100 homes and injured four people.

Montecito has multimillion dollar homes of the stars. Oprah Winfrey has a home there as does John Travolta and many other well known celebrities. Do a search and you find Rob Lowe, Carol Burnett, Steve Martin, Johnathan Winters and many more live there.

Luckily only four people have been injured so far. Two firefighters and two civilians.

Montecito is nestled against the Santa Ynez mountains. Homes are on narrow mountain roads in areas of heavy vegetation. This area has not burned in over 30 years.

One of the main draws of the coastal mountain areas is homes with a view of the ocean. However, winding roads and long standing native plants make fighting this fire even more difficult.

California mountains are covered in "chaparral" or native brush that is very dry at this time of year and burns quickly and intensely. Wind and dry brush are ingredients for fires in this area.

Homes in the entire Santa Barbara area are expensive to begin with. Working class people have a hard time affording the cost of housing in the area. In the past Santa Barbara talked about subsidizing school teachers so they could afford to live in the area.

This give you an idea of the cost of housing in the area. If you Google "Santa Barbara Real Estate" you will find the median home price in the area is $842,500. There is a lot of very expensive real estate going up in smoke today.

1 comment:

syvmom said...

Nice post! It's been surreal watching the live video on Channel 3. Those helicopters must have amazing lenses to get right inside the burning homes. Huge estates...800k may be the median price for SB County...but I dare say you couldn't have touched one of these properties for anywhere near that price. My modest little tract home appraises at around 700k..and it's in one of the more affordable parts of the county.