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Santa Barbara County releases updated debris flow risk map

One year after the Thomas Fire began its fury that found its way into South Santa Barbara County contributing to a deadly mudflow in Montecito the following month, Santa Barbara County officials have released an updated storm risk map for this winter season.

The interactive map shows the areas that are at risk of a debris flow below the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa burn areas in Santa Barbara County.

View the map here.

Residents living below burn areas should take a look at the map to see if their home is in a risk area. Likewise, county officials urge residents living below the burn areas in Carpinteria and Montecito to access the map and understand their risk.

If a storm is predicted to exceed rain thresholds believed to cause a debris flow, the risk area will be evacuated. In the event of a rapidly developing storm with little to no warning, residents living in the risk areas should have a plan to protect themselves and their family if it is not safe to evacuate. This can include going to a neighbor who lives on higher ground or sheltering in place.

The map has been revised to include the most up-to-date scientific research and data gathered following the devastating Montecito mudflow. The map update was completed focusing on the watershed draining to the developed areas of Montecito and Carpinteria.

Analysis and factors used to update the map included data collection, field reconnaissance, and scientific modeling, county officials said.

Those without access to the internet and the map should contact their local fire department for information:

Montecito Fire Protection District | 805-969-7762 Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District | 805-566-2450 City of Santa Barbara Fire Department | 805-965-5254 Santa Barbara County Fire – Goleta | 805-681-5500

For more information and to register for Aware and Prepare county alerts, visit

Residents are also encouraged to attend the upcoming informational community meetings in Carpinteria and Montecito. One of the meetings will be presented in Spanish. See the schedule information below:

Community Informational Meeting Schedule

5:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 5
Veterans Memorial Building
941 Walnut Avenue, Carpinteria 93013

Presented in English; Spanish and ASL interpretation will be available To watch live, go to CSBTV cable channel 20 or FaceBook at “countyofsb.” A video of the meeting will be posted at

5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 – Presented in Spanish
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
1532 Linden Avenue, Carpinteria 93013

English interpretation will be available Childcare will be provided. To watch live, go to FaceBook at “countyofsb.” To watch live, go to FaceBook at “countyofsb.” A video of the meeting will be posted at

5:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 12, 2018
Montecito Union School
385 San Ysidro Road., Santa Barbara 93108

Presented in English; ASL interpretation will be provided To watch live, go to CSBTV cable channel 20 or FaceBook at “countyofsb.” A video of the meeting will be posted at

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