A major earthquake struck on December 21, 1812, causing severe damage to the Santa Barbara Mission buildings and the Presidio compound. The same earthquake also destroyed Mission La Purisima, near what is now the city of Lompoc.
On September 17, 1913, 108-degree daytime heat paired with dry weather created ideal conditions for wildfire, fueling a small grass fire in Sycamore Canyon to grow quickly out of control. While the intense heat of the day made firefighting difficult,…
This late-November wildfire burned at least 36 square miles and was deemed critical until rains arrived to relieve firefighting efforts. Earlier that month, all forest outlooks had been relieved of duty as the region’s historic fire season ended.
Details are scarce but one report mentioned that the Polo Fire produced a fire tornado and threatened homes in Toro Canyon and along nearby Foothill Road.