Back to top

Searing winds hit Santa Barbara, California, destroying birds, small animals, and all foliage in the town

California, 1857, zoomable map
06/17/1859
In the early afternoon of Friday, June 17, 1859, a searing wind struck Santa Barbara and continued for hours, forcing every resident to shelter indoors. Outside, smaller animals such as calves, rabbits, and dogs were killed, along with hundreds of birds.  According to press reports, almost all foliage in the town was completely destroyed, fruit roasted on the trees, and exposed metal was hot to the touch for hours afterwards.  The incident seemed to touch off  an oppressive two weeks of remarkably high temperatures across central Califonia. (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Santa Barbara (CA) Gazette, June 18, 1859, reported in the New York Times, July 29, 1859, p. 1.

Tabs