MONTECITO, Calif. - Despite the lack of rain Tuesday morning, step one of Santa Barbara County's new evacuation plan remains in effect.
The Pre-Evacuation Advisory was issued by the Office of Emergency Management on Sunday. The decision came ahead of a forecasted storm that had the potential of bringing sudden thunder storms to county burn areas.
The advisory is for communities around the Thomas, Alamo, Sherpa and Whittier Fire burn scars. According to Santa Barbara County, a Pre-Evacuation Advisory is defined as the following:
- Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is alerting the community of possible risk to life or property.
- Community members should immediately begin preparations to leave and closely monitor the developing situation.
- If at any time you fee threatened, take immediate action. Do not wait for a notification.
The Pre-Evacuation Advisory is followed by a Recommended Evacuation Warning and a Mandatory Evacuation Order. This new three-tier system replaced the old "voluntary" and "mandatory" evacuation system after the deadly Montecito Mudslides. Sheriff's officials believe the word "voluntary" didn't emphasize the importance of an evacuation.
The Office of Emergency Management is continuing to monitor the weather with help from the National Weather Service, located in Oxnard.
Tuesday's chances of thunder storms have come and gone, but another storm is lining up behind it. That storm system is expected to bring showers to Santa Barbara County burn areas on Thursday and Friday. The Pre-Evacuation Advisory will remain in effect until these storms move through.