Thomas Fire

There could be an app for detecting wildfires

Apr 26, 2019
Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory

Predicting when a heat wave or wildfire hits in California could be as easy as looking to an app.

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.

https://m.pge.com/#outages

UPDATE Feb. 4, 2019 10 A.M. Continued rainstorms and windy conditions overnight Sunday contributed to power outages in San Luis Obispo County, and more early morning text warnings from Santa Barbara County emergency officials about possible debris flows in and around recent Sherpa, Whittier and Thomas Fire burn areas. State Route 154 will remain closed indefinitely while crews clean out a culvert near Lake Cachuma, clogged with debris from 2017's Whittier Fire.

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.

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.

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.

Courtesy of SLO County Sheriff's Office

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office issued mandatory evacuation orders for areas burned in Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa wildfires.

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. 

ReadySBC.org

Due to a fast approaching storm, Monday afternoon Santa Barbara County emergency officials ordered mandatory evacuations. People in the extreme risk zones near the Thomas, Sherpa and Whittier burn areas must leave by 8 p.m. tonight. 

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. 

A Conversation with the Reluctant Therapist... When faced with profound loss it is natural to want to retreat from the inevitable pain and despair that are sure to follow. But when we attempt to bury and avoid our grief, we also push away our capacity to feel love. Accepting loss doesn't mean forgetting and moving on: it is really an opportunity for transformation and growth. Tune in for a conversation with the reluctant therapist, Elizabeth Barrett about how love and grief can co-exist in our lives.

Greta Mart

Besides having to rebuild their homes and community, survivors of the January 9 Montecito debris flows are now wrangling with their insurance companies. 

SB County

Heavy rainfall triggered destructive mudslides in Montecito, near Santa Barbara, around 2 a.m. on January 9. Officials confirm at least 21 people died after being caught in crushed homes, flash flooding or debris flows. Two weeks after the disaster, Highway 101 is now open in both directions between the junction of SR 150 and Milpas Street in downtown Santa Barbara. 

Thomas Fire at 89 percent containment

Dec 27, 2017
http://bit.ly/2l8a7UZ

A brush fire exploded on December 4 into a fierce wildfire burning over 440 square miles from Santa Paula to the hills above Santa Barbara, and eastward into the Los Padres National Forest. This week, several hundred firefighters remain on the scene working to extinguish all flames and mop up; containment is now at 89 percent. 

CAUSE

Over one hundred thousand people are now evacuated from the Thomas Fire, burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. But workers in the area’s agricultural fields stayed on the job, breathing in smoke and ash as they pick strawberry and celery crops.