Santa Barbara- S County

Thomas Fire burn area in the bullseye of the incoming storm

Evacuation orders issued

First responders urge people to play it safe

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The Monday night before the devastating January 9th storm in Montecito the Director of the Office of Emergency Management Rob Lewin said ,"If you are at home right now you need to leave and get out of harms way"

Lewin had a similar message at a Santa Barbara County news conference on Monday.

"This is a legitimate hard coming storm that has the potential to cause destruction it has potential to take lives and you need to head the evacuation orders." said Lewin.

After 23 lives lost, first responders want people to heed evacuation orders.

Sheriff Bill Brown, said "We ask that everyone be out of that area by 5 p.m. tomorrow afternoon."

Mark Jackson from the National Weather Service said the rain isn't being absorbed by the Thomas Fire burn area.

"If you went up to that burn area right after the fire and you took a bottle of water and poured it on the slope it would just bead off," said Jackson.

The incident commander said there will be mutual aid.

Kevin Taylor of Montecito Fire said, "Early Wednesday resources from outside the area will be called in to help reinforce our local responders before the highest rain intensities arrive."

The storm could put the breaks on freeway traffic

California Highway Patrol Captain Cindy Ponce said,  "If we deem that lives are at risk the 101 will be shut down immediately."

If you feel threatened Santa Barbara County Fire Captain David Zaniboni said get out before the downpour.

 Don't wait for deputies to knock on your door..  

" I know everybody is evacuation weary, we are weary," said Zaniboni.

But he said evacuating when ordered to do so is the responsible thing to do.

For more information visit, or

comments powered by Disqus

Top Local Stories