SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency in Santa Barbara County on Sunday due to the Alamo Fire and Whittier Fire.
Following suit, at 2.30 p.m. Sunday, Santa Barbara County officials proclaimed a local emergency due to the wildfires.
The proclamation was made by the County Office of Emergency Management. The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is expected to act on the proclamation formally at its next meeting on Tuesday, July 18, 2017.
The proclamation issued by Gov. Brown described the nature of the emergency in Santa Barbara County. View it here.
Proclaiming a local state of emergency is an important step for local governments dealing with significant incidents because it ensures that all county resources are available for the firefighting efforts and supporting activities. The proclamation also helps facilitate potential state funding. Gov. Brown's State of Emergency proclamation considerably helps Santa Barbara County secure that state funding.
“Protecting the public, firefighters, and other first responders is the County's top priority, as well as preventing damage to structures, infrastructure, and our rich agricultural resources,” said Joan Hartmann, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “We are proud of and grateful to the public safety employees who are responding so effectively to both the Whittier and Alamo Fires. This proclamation is one more step the County can take to respond to these significant events.”
The Whittier Fire started off Highway 154 across from Lake Cachuma at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, 2017. To date, over 18,000 acres have burned and the fire is 36% contained. Currently, 16 residences and 30 structures were destroyed; 1 residence and 6 structures were damaged.
The Alamo Fire, which began July 6, 2017 in San Luis Obispo County near Twitchell Reservior, is burning in Santa Barbara County South of Highway 166 and the reservoir. As of Sunday morning, July 16, 2017 the fire burned approximately 29,000 acres with 95% containment. There were 15 structures destroyed or damaged, including 2 residences.