Exclusive Photos: Heartbreaking Images Show Wildfire on the Doorstep of Reagan Ranch


The late President Ronald Reagan’s ranch near Santa Barbara, California, is under threat of being burned to the ground by the Alisal Fire.

The fire started west of the 668-acre property named Rancho del Cielo.

Andrew Coffin, Vice President of the Young America’s Foundation and director of the ranch, wrote in an email obtained by The Western Journal that the area has not seen a wildfire since 1955, which means there is a lot of potential fuel to burn.

“All Ranch systems have now been tested and are ready,” Coffin said as they prepared to fight the flames.

In a separate email, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, now president of the Young America’s Foundation, wrote that the ranch manager, Flemming Bertelsen, “previously worked as a firefighter and has done great work preparing for a moment like this one.”

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According to Walker, the flames were just two or three miles from the ranch as of Monday night.

“The staff is getting the fire hoses out and doubled checking the generators and other equipment,” Walker said.

“Andrew’s last report to me was that fire trucks had entered the property to get to the properties on the west side of Reagan Ranch. That is both encouraging and discouraging at the same time.”

“We are glad that they are taking this seriously and sending in equipment. At the same time, we are concerned with how close it is to our property,” Walker said.

Courtesy of Reagan Ranch

Santa Barbara media outlet Noozhawk reported as of Monday night, the Alisal Fire was O percent contained with 3,900 acres burned.

Reagan purchased Rancho del Cielo (“Ranch in the Sky”) in 1974 shortly before he completed his second term as governor of California, according to the Young America’s Foundation.

The property, situated high on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, served as the “Western White House” during Reagan’s eight years as president from 1981 to 1989.

In total, Reagan spent approximately a year of his time in office at Rancho del Cielo.

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The Young America’s Foundation acquired the property in 1998.

The group brings young people to the ranch each year where they are taught about the conservative principles that guided Reagan’s political career and renewed the American spirit and the American dream for millions during the 1980s.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith