Whittier 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.

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."

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. 

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. 

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. 

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's line up for luncheon honoring their bravery
THOMAS WILMER

Saturday morning july 8th 2017 started out uneventfully at St. Vincent de Paul’s Circle V Ranch summer camp in the hills above Santa Barbara.

But a puff of smoke on the horizon alerted camp counselors that trouble was brewing. The Whittier wildfire came close to destroying the summer camp and threatened the lives of hundreds of campers and staff.

To honor the first responders who came to the rescue of the campers, St. Vincent de Paul hosted a special luncheon at Old Mission Santa Ines Parish Hall in Solvang, California. Join me for a conversation with David Fields, Executive Director St. Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles.

Whittier Fire Update: 87 percent containment

Jul 23, 2017
Whittier Fire Incident Command

The wildfire that ignited July 8 near Lake Cachuma has burned 29 square miles as of Sunday. Fire officials report the Whittier Fire is now 87 percent contained, but it may be the end of the month before the forest blaze is totally extinguished.