US Evacuations ordered below Santa Barbara burn zones as area braces for rainstorm

15:36  08 january  2018
15:36  08 january  2018 Source:   Los Angeles Times

Smoldering log creates flare-up on Thomas fire's western flank

  Smoldering log creates flare-up on Thomas fire's western flank LOS ANGELES - California's biggest fire on record refuses to die. On Friday morning, a smoldering log rolled downhill within the Thomas fire's western flank and ignited a patch of unburned vegetation, sending plumes of black smoke into the air, said U.S. Forest Service public information officer Jim Mackensen. The flames spread near Gibraltar Road, a windy mountain pass loaded with million-dollar homes surrounded by grass, bushes and trees. No homes were immediately in danger but crews weren't taking any chances, Mackensen said.

Ahead of a strong winter storm that could trigger flash flooding and mudslides, authorities have ordered evacuations of Santa Barbara County neighborhoods that sit below areas recently burned by wildfires. Wildfire Burn Areas Throughout SoCal Brace for Coming Rainstorm .

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a group of people on a rocky beach © Hal Wells / Los Angeles Times

Ahead of a strong winter storm that could trigger flash flooding and mudslides, authorities have ordered evacuations of Santa Barbara County neighborhoods that sit below areas recently burned by wildfires.

Residents who live in the following areas were told to evacuate by noon Monday: north of Highway 192, east of Cold Springs Road, and west of Highway 150/the county line, as well as along Tecolote Canyon, Eagle Canyon, Dos Pueblos Canyon, Gato Canyon and in the Whittier fire burn areas near Goleta.

A voluntary evacuation warning was issued for all areas south of Highway 192 to the ocean and east of Hot Springs Road/Olive Mill Road to Highway 150/county line, Santa Barbara County officials said.

President declares disaster over deadly California wildfire

  President declares disaster over deadly California wildfire President Donald Trump on Tuesday declared a major disaster in California over a wildfire that destroyed more than 1,000 buildings . The White House announced Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, that the president has granted disaster status, which will help make federal funds available to supplement recovery efforts in the wake of the Thomas Fire that ravaged Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File) VENTURA, Calif.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for several areas of Santa Barbara County affected by recent wildfires Residents in the areas along Tecolote Canyon, Eagle Canyon, Dos Pueblos Canyon, Gato Canyon, and the Whittier burn areas near Goleta were also ordered to evacuate .

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“People in these areas should stay alert to changing conditions and be prepared to leave immediately at your own discretion if the situation worsens,” the county said in a statement.

Almost 4 inches of rain is expected in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties — where the massive Thomas fire has scorched more than 281,000 acres — from Monday evening through Tuesday morning. Authorities warned of the potential for heavy rain, strong winds and “extremely dangerous” flash flooding and debris flows.

The nearly extinguished wildfire, which erupted Dec. 4, is the largest fire on record in California. Residents who live in areas burned by the Whittier, Sherpa and Rey fires are also affected by the evacuations.

alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Twitter: @AleneTchek

From Oprah to the insurance man, Montecito residents reel from devastation .
From Oprah Winfrey to less well-known names, residents of the Montecito area shared stories of the deadly mudslides and gave each other support and perspective. The mudslides killed at least 15 people, and firefighters were still trying to rescue dozens trapped in canyons above the city. Along Eleven Oaks Lane, Kevin Hujing, 27, and David Cradduck, 66, were out Wednesday morning, shovels in hand — trying to make a dent in the shin-high mud that took over their street.Cradduck has lived in his home for 34 years and said he’s never seen anything like this. “I think all of us have learned our lessons on this one. We were all bad children and ignored the warning,” he said.

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