SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Thomas Fire may be up in the Ventura County hills this week but the topic is hitting ground zero on the radio airwaves in Santa Barbara.
Mike Williams and Ted Adams from the Community Alert show on KKBZ 1290 radio have dissected some of the aspects involved in public information, emergency evacuation and widespread losses that occurred during the recent disaster.
Williams said because the fire has been so massive and has now stretched out over weeks, the public may not be aware of the initial damage to power lines and transmissions towers.
He says repairs in the coming weeks will be another impact to deal with. "Not to mention the voltage surges and the problems with that. There were certainly folks out there who blew up some electronics over the last couple of weeks. And they (power systems) were off. Gas stations couldn't pump gas, grocery stores couldn't do their thing. The lights were out and we could go on and on," said Williams during the morning show.
He urged residents and businesses to consider generators to help them with power issues during future fires or an earthquake.
Williams had several documents about the fire response and the preliminary plans to deal with storm runoff and property protection during the winter months.
Adams, a Painted Cave resident in the nearby hills, pointed out the work done by fire crews to clear fuel breaks and bulldoze lines of protection if the first were to spread into the East Camino Cielo area above Goleta.
Whether those lines can be maintained for future fire breaks is going to be heavily debated because of cost, environmental concerns, and benefits. Williams and Adams strongly favored a fuel break plan as compared to the multi-million dollar cost to fight a wildland fire and the risks to lives and property.
Future shows will cover topics including insurance impacts, legal challenges, and the repercussions of lost business.
Williams has been talking to the audience about emergency preparedness for over ten years on this show.
For more information about the show and the Thomas Fire, visit http://countyofsb.org/thomasfire.sbc