SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - On Monday, as people on the south coast waited anxiously for strong forecasted rains, only a light rain fell on CAL FIRE inmate crews, working diligently to remove vegetation and other debris from Toro Canyon creek and other waterways along the front country.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department said the work is critical as local agencies do as much preparation work as possible for the impending storm.
“I think we are so well prepared this time, ahead of time, because we just came off the heels of the massive Thomas fire and we’ve never seen a significant storm predicted this close. We just wanted to get ahead of it," said Capt. Dave Zaniboni.
The Earl Warren Showgrounds is serving as a temporary base camp for the first winter storm of the season expected to bring flash flooding and debris flows to the recent burn areas.
Extra fire engines, dozers, heavy equipment and personnel have been pre-positioned there in order to respond quickly.
A swift water rescue team from Long Beach and a County Urban Search and Rescue Team are also on standby at the showgrounds.