San Ysidro Ranch and Riven Rock Ruined in Thomas Fire Mudflows

Runoff debris from many areas also hits beaches

San Ysidro Ranch and Riven Rock hit hard (John Palminteri/KEYT photo)

MONTECITO, Calif. - The Thomas fire mudflows have taken out hundreds of homes in one form or another, but also an iconic resort is fractured beyond anyone's worst dream.

NewsChannel 3 saw the San Ysidro Ranch where quaint cottages have been a hideaway spot for movie stars and political figures for decades.  It is one of the most treasured spots on the South Coast for overnight stays and gourmet meals.

Staff executives say at the time of the event the ranch had already taken steps to protect its staff and guests. It was under a mandatory evacuation order and no one was there, or in harms way.  Some employees have said the first indication they had of the impact was through social media posts, and KEYT news video.

Getting into the area has been banned  by law enforcement, and some residents have tried to walk in or get past road blocks on bikes.  Violators will be prosecuted according to District Attorney Joyce Dudley under California Penal code 409.5.

It's a painstaking effort and along the way the shocking sights for those who have not seen the destruction is unbelievable.

Businessman Jeff Bermant has lived in the community for years.  In Riven Rock where homes carry multi-million dollar price tags,  Bermant's house was spared while others were twisted apart by the massive blast of mud and rocks.

Some streets and properties are unrecognizable.

Bermant was able to get to his cat Moose.  

"There were cars twisted into trees. Houses destroyed. I've  been here 30 to 40 years, I've never seen this type devastation," said Bermant.

He had a picture of the lush green gardens that were now reduced to a layer of mud and the lower backyard of the property went down stream.

The site is near the Ashley Road community which lost at least two homes and possibly two creek bridges.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the area was on fire in the massive Thomas fire zone.

The Search and Rescue crews have been going through to assess the damage and look for survivors throughout the scenic property as they have in all the ravaged communities.  Orange paint with specific markings indicate each building has been inspected and cleared.

Crews continue to go over sites where missing person were last known to be seen in case the ground cover, or water logged landscaping has change to reveal more of the area previously not visible.


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