Thousands told to evacuate below burn scars in Santa Barbara area as heavy rain is predicted

The evacuation order begins at 10 a.m. January 15

Fire debris flow flooding Santa Barbara evacuation map
Map showing areas under evacuation orders beginning at 10 a.m. January 15, 2019. Santa Barbara County. Click to enlarge.

Three to four thousand residents in areas below the footprints of three recent fires in Southern California’s Santa Barbara County have been ordered to evacuate as a winter storm approaches which could lead to debris flows below the Sherpa, Whittier, and Thomas fires burn areas. The evacuation order is in effect beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday January 15.

Thomas Fire debris flow flooding
Mud and debris flow in Montecito below the Thomas Fire, January 9, 2018. Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara FD.

Santa Barbara County has more information about the evacuation, including a map. A Red Cross shelter will be open at 10 a.m. at Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave., Goleta. Two schools are closed and three are holding classes at alternative sites.

The National Weather Service is predicting 1.5 to 3 inches of rain in the Santa Barbara area with up to 4.5 inches locally on south-facing slopes. Peak hourly rainfall rates could reach 0.75 to 1.25 inches. The heavy rain should taper off Tuesday night, followed by showers on Wednesday which will increase to heavy rain again Wednesday night.

Fire debris flow flooding Santa Barbara

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Thousands told to evacuate below burn scars in Santa Barbara area as heavy rain is predicted”

  1. Good deal.

    Proactive they are being…

    Made my day to see this.

    Now back to my focus of helping the good folks with situational ethics…some day I hope to be around to see that change…Yes there is GOOD people with situational ethics.

    The hardest part in my learning and being on scene is the feel of something I thought ended decades ago but what I am seeing up close is layers of racism and I thought you get hired all the same pay grade and put on socks and shoes every day….maybe some do not wear socks and we walk different ways but Safety is my goal in getting into the modern fire industry.

    I am on my fourth day and a half of my fast and thanks to Geronimo Hotshot retiree training me up Navy Seals style to get ready for 2019 Wildfire Academy training.


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