Santa Ynez Valley

It’s a busy Saturday afternoon at one of the Santa Ynez Valley’s most popular wineries.

Dozens of people surround a huge island in the main tasting room, sampling different wines. But nearly a dozen people are being herded into a back room, for a very different type of wine tasting experience. It’s a popular one of a kind, R rated event which goes way past the traditional buttery, toasty, and silky descriptions.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

The fast moving Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County Saturday left about 80 kids and staff trapped at a Santa Ynez Valley camp, but they are reported to be safe with firefighters on hand to protect them.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department Captain Dave Zaniboni says as plans were made to evacuate the Circle V ranch south of Highway 154, near Lake Cachuma they discovered the fire was on both sides of the highway. They decided to have people at the camp shelter in place, with a contingent of Los Padres National Forest firefighters on hand to insure their safety.

Firefighters quickly stopped a brush fire on the Central Coast.

The 10 acre blaze started just after one p.m. Friday on the 4000 block of Oak Trail Road, near Los Olivos.

Firefighters were able to get it 50% contained in about 90 minutes. No structures were damaged. There’s no word yet on the cause of the blaze.

Smoke billowed up from the Santa Ynez Valley Wednesday afternoon when a cabin went up in flames at the Zaca Lake resort.

The site is several miles away from Los Olivos, and is privately owned.

Fire crew from Santa Barbara county stopped the flames from spreading very far, but about five acres burned near the cabin.

A longtime Chumash tribal leader has been elected as the tribe’s new chairman.

Kenny Kahn was elected by members of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians during a special election this month. Kahn has been a member of the tribe’s Business Council for more than a decade. He grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley, and is well known in Santa Barbara County for his work with non-profit groups.

Kahn will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Vincent Armenta last month, who left after being accepted at a premiere culinary school on the East Coast.

The head of the Chumash Tribe has resigned.

Vincent Armenta has been Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians since 1999. He headed the tribe during the biggest period of financial growth in its history, overseeing construction of the Chumash Casino Resort, the purchase and relaunch of one of the largest hotels in Solvang, and the addition of multiple parcels of real estate in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Santa Barbara County Supervisors Peter Adam and Doreen Farr say they are preparing an update to the full Board of Supervisors about their talks with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.