Santa Barbara- S County

Montecito residents feeling evacuation fatigue

Montecito residents feel evacuation fatigue after Tuesdays storm

MONTECITO, Calif. - Now that mandatory evacuations from Tuesday’s storm have been lifted, Montecito residents are coming home again.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 people evacuated the high-risk areas, according to the Office of Emergency Management.

Only high-risk areas were under a mandatory evacuation.  

Monday night’s evacuation is the 4th issued by the Office of Emergency Management since the Thomas Fire and while they are put in effect for everyone’s safety, residents are feeling the fatigue.

“We know its almost inevitable to feel that way, but we really need to have them remain vigilant because that threat that we have is significant and we don’t want to evacuate people any longer than we have to,” said Public Information Officer for the Incident Management Team, Amber Anderson. “So, we’ll be watching and monitoring but we want them to understand that when we do issue those evacuations they are taken with the utmost caution for their safety.”

Montecito Resident, Kathleen Laurain hasn’t evacuated since the Thomas Fire and says she feels safe in her home off of Olive Mill Lane.

“You do get fatigue all of the time from people telling you that you have to leave all of the time,” said Laurain. “Everyone is in a certain about of danger, but I don’t feel that way.”

While rain is in the forecast for the next week, the Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor conditions every step of the way.

“We’re continuing to ramp up and respond every time we have one of these storm systems come in and we ask the public to do the same,” said Anderson. “We have a long road ahead of us. This threat is not going away this winter or the next couple of winters. It’s going to be a long haul.” 

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