SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - UPDATE
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, along with fire agencies and other public safety officials, has announced that Mandatory Evacuation Orders are lifted for all areas as of 9 a.m. March 2.
If evacuated residents who are returning to their residences have a need for wheelchair or other specialized transport needs, call Easy Lift at 805-681-1180.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office and other public safety officials have issued a 'Mandatory Evacuation Order' for the Thomas, Sherpa, and Whittier burn areas due to an approaching storm.
The 'Mandatory Evacuation Order' will become effective at 12 p.m. Thursday, March 1, 2018. For more evacuation information, click here. It's time to gather your belongings and leave immediately.
Residents in the evacuated area need to be out by 6 p.m. Thursday, officials say.
The Red Cross has opened an Evacuation Center for residents threatened by this incoming storm at Earl Warren Showgrounds. More information on lodging for evacuees here.
U.S. Highway 101 will remain open to facilitate evacuations but the California Highway Patrol says that if they find it necessary to close the freeway for public safety, closures will happen at about 2 a.m. Friday morning.
A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for areas of Santa Barbara County affected by the Thomas, Whittier, and Sherpa fires beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday to 9 a.m. Friday, March 2.
The National Weather Service indicates that there is a potential for rainfall to exceed the 0.5-inch per hour threshold. Officials hope to return individuals to their homes as soon as it is safe to do so
The communities near and below the Thomas, Sherpa and Whittier burn areas are strongly recommended to relocate to safer locations for their own safety. High risk for loss of life and property exists.
The potential for debris flows being triggered is low to moderate. Waterway flows may be rapid and blockage and overtopping in waterways is expected. Roads may be flooded and impassable. People close to and immediately downstream of choke points may be endangered. It is important that community members understand the seriousness of the situation and follow the direction of authorities.
“The decision to evacuate these areas is being made out of an abundance of caution. Due to the size and breadth of the evacuation area, not all residents will be contacted in person. Do not wait for deputies or someone else to come to your home or business. Everyone should begin the evacuation process now. Community members should check with their neighbors to see if they need help to evacuate," said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
For more information on the risk please go to ReadySBC.org. Santa Barbara County residents are urged to register to receive emergency alerts.
County agencies, emergency officials, and the National Weather Service will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed. Watch the latest press conference by Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown regarding the Mandatory Evacuation Order below.