Santa Barbara County

On this week's episode of Issues & Ideas: Do you want to make your home wildfire resistant? A landscape design expert says much of the conventional wisdom about native landscapes and fire is wrong. Greg Rubin, president and founder of California's Own Native Landscape Design, is coming to San Luis Obispo on August 1 to share techniques he has developed to create sustainable, ecologically responsible, fire-resistant landscapes. 

Courtesy of the SBC Agricultural Commissioner's office

Strawberries and wine grapes remain the top two agricultural crops in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. And crops and cattle are still among the top economic drivers in Santa Barbara County, but agricultural revenue dropped there last year, according to the county's new annual crop report out Friday.

Issues & Ideas: Cannabis odor, berries and Harmony glass

Jul 1, 2019
KCBX News

On this week's Issues and Ideas, there has been a lot of discussion about cannabis grows on the Central Coast, especially when it comes to the plants' odor. In a conversation produced by KCRW's "The 805: Stories from the Central Coast" podcast, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams dives into the issue and allegations he has been too chummy with cannabis lobbyists.

Wikimedia Commons

The Lompoc Valley Cannabis Association (LVCA) is gearing up to host its first “CannaBrew,”  a social mixer for those involved in the area’s cannabis industry. Organizers hope Wednesday’s networking event will serve as another step in turning Lompoc into a cannabis destination.

CDC

Following a measles quarantine of hundreds of students at Los Angeles universities, Central Coast health officials are on high alert, they say. Since January, over 700 cases of measles have been reported in 22 states.

VCFD

Southern California Edison power lines touching each other in strong winds definitely started the Thomas Fire, according to a report released Wednesday by the Ventura County Fire Department.

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

UPDATE 3/6/19 8 A.M. Evacuation orders are now lifted for all areas of Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said many roads may be impassable or have standing water and mud, but the immediate danger of debris flows has passed.

Around 3,000 Santa Barbara County residents are evacuated  from their homes once again this week. Rainstorms starting Tuesday are expected to be severe enough to potentially cause debris flows and mudslides, especially with already-saturated ground. The forecast prompted Santa Barbara County officials to issue evacuation orders starting at 4 p.m. on March 5 for those who live near or below the Sherpa, Whittier and Thomas Fire burn scars.

ReadySBC.org

UPDATE 1/15/19 6 P.M. Santa Barbara County has now lifted the evacuation orders issued on Jan. 14. 

According to the county's office of emergency services, "the National Weather Service has advised that critical rain rates did not materialize over the area as expected. Showers are expected through late Tuesday night, but rainfall is not anticipated to reach critical levels to cause debris flows. However, a high surf advisory remains in effect until 8 p.m. Friday, January 18."

Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the day a SoCalEdison electrical transformer blew up and sparked a small brush fire in Ventura County. 60-mile-an-hour winds fanned that into the Thomas Fire, at the time considered the largest wildfire in California’s modern history. That was, until the Mendocino Complex and Camp Fires eclipsed it.

Courtesy of the Chumash Life YouTube channel

The same architect who helped design the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC is working on a new cultural center and museum coming to the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County.

SBCOE

An analysis of how Santa Barbara County responded to the December 2017 Thomas Fire and January 9, 2018 Debris Flow was delivered to the Board of Supervisors this week. It’s called the "After Action Report and Improvement Plan." The supervisors heard from a third party about what the county did well in the midst and wake of the disasters, and how it can do better in the future.

Early voting underway, poll workers needed on Central Coast

Oct 11, 2018
Krista Almanzan/KAZU

Although you still have a month to mull over your choices before Election Day, early voting is underway. It started Monday.

Daniel Schwen

California will be changing the way it manages forests and wild lands near urban areas, after a Central Coast lawmaker’s bills relating to wildfire management and response were signed into law.

Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that implements the California Legislature’s new system for investigating sexual harassment complaints against lawmakers and senior staff. 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that implements the California Legislature’s new system for investigating sexual harassment complaints against lawmakers and senior staff.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Some Central Coast residents and environmental groups are alarmed over a current federal study, saying it could open up iconic local places like Morro Rock and Montana de Oro State Park to hydraulic fracking.

Southern Poverty Law Center

The KCBX Central Coast Curious project provides you the opportunity to ask the KCBX News team questions about the Central Coast. We posted a Central Coast Curious voting round this summer that included some listener questions related to nationwide issues. The winning question from the voting round was: “Are there any active, known and 'out' members of white nationalist or violent racist organizations in San Luis Obispo County?”

Cruces Fire near Lompoc closes Highway 1, prompts evacuations

Jul 18, 2018
Tyler Pratt/KCBX

UPDATE 07/19/18 9 AM

Calfire has revised the number of acres burned downward to 81 as of Thursday morning, and reports crews are about half-way (47 percent) to containing the blaze. 

UPDATE 07/18/18 5 PM

Calfire reports the forward progression of the fire has been stopped, and the blaze is 20 percent contained. It has burned 120 acres since sparking just before noon. 

Joshua Green/Flickr

The 2015 Refugio oil spill in Santa Barbara County dumped an estimated 140,000 gallons of crude oil onto area beaches. It also effectively shut down operations at three offshore oil platforms.

10 homes destroyed in weekend Goleta fire

Jul 12, 2018
Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

Firefighters have gotten a handle on a wildfire that whipped up late Friday night in the hills above Goleta in Santa Barbara County, and CalFire reports crews held the Holiday Fire at 100 acres. As of Monday, the blaze is 90 percent contained.  

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Wildfires continue to burn across California. In the northern part of the state, a fire that’s burned tens of thousands of acres and forced many to evacuate has now jumped into Oregon. Over the weekend a rash of high temperatures and dry winds sparked fires across the Central Coast and in southern California. A fast-moving fire in the city of Goleta tore through 100 acres and destroyed 13 homes in a matter of hours.

Anita Ritenour/Flickr

With a heat wave on the horizon, public safety officials along the Central Coast are reminding residents and visitors celebrating Independence Day that all fireworks are completely illegal to use or even possess. Except where they are legal.

Chumash Tribe's Camp 4 bill advances in Congress

Jun 13, 2018
Bree Zender/KCBX

In Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians’ land parcel known as Camp 4 got a step closer to permanent status as “fee-to-trust” reservation land.

2018 PRIMARY UNOFFICIAL RESULTS

Jun 11, 2018
Randol White/KCBX News

California's June 5, 2018 Consolidated Primary Election is behind us, and the Secretary of State has published semi-official elections results; click here to see statewide race results.

On the Central Coast, the San Luis ObispoSanta Barbara and Monterey County county elections offices continue to update results as ballot counting continues. 

Courtesy of US Chamber of Commerce

Before a system outage hit the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday morning, the deadline for filing federal taxes was April 17 at midnight. Now the deadline has been postponed until midnight April 18 for most taxpayers. But Santa Barbara County residents and businesses qualify for a further extension from the IRS.

Evacuations lifted for Santa Barbara coast

Mar 13, 2018
Courtesy of UCSB

As of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the county sheriff's office has lifted the mandatory evacuation orders put in place on Monday afternoon. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

After nearly two months of cleaning up after the January 9, 2018 debris flow, this week's rainstorm brought more stormwater flowing down Montecito's creek's and drainage areas. 

As homeowners and businesses continue to clean and rebuild, county officials are reminding people to follow the set guidelines for clearing properties. KCBX's Tyler Pratt sat down with Thomas Fayram of the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department to learn more.

Santa Barbara coast evacuations cancelled

Mar 2, 2018

As of 9:00 a.m. Friday morning, county emergency officials have lifted the mandatory evacuation orders for the Santa Barbara coastal areas; residents are free to return home. The storm has passed with no major damage reported. 

Santa Barbara County

UPDATE 3/2/18 AT 7:00 A.M. Montecito and other areas of the Santa Barbara coast remain under mandatory evacuation orders this morning, but the bulk of the storm has passed with no major damage. The flash flood warning for Santa Barbara County has expired. The CHP is reporting minor debris flows on SR 192 and Romano Canyon, and a short section of Highway 33 near Ojai is closed due to sliding. 

Anjalie Tandon/KCBX

Santa Barbara County officials sent out a warning Tuesday evening of a coming storm that could bring more debris flows to areas scarred by recent fires.  But late Wednesday afternoon, the county said it doesn't plan to upgrade that evacuation warning to mandatory. Instead county officials issued a flash flood watch. 

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