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All Evacuation Orders Lifted for Santa Barbara County Burn Areas

By Christina Favuzzi
Jan 05, 2023 at 05:51 PM

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, in coordination with fire agencies and other public safety officials, has announced that as of 9:30 a.m. Jan. 5, 2023, all evacuation orders are lifted for the Thomas, Alisal and Cave fire burn areas in Santa Barbara County.  

Areas placed under evacuation order as of Jan. 4 at 3 p.m. included vulnerable sections of the Thomas Fire Burn Area (specific parcels, please see map), the entire Alisal Fire Burn Area, and the vulnerable sections of the Cave Fire Burn Area (specific parcels, please see map).  Please refer to this map for precise evacuation locations.

While we are able to allow residents to return home, we remind everyone that this was a serious storm that caused impacts across the County. Please be aware of loose and falling rocks, minor landslides, wet road conditions, down trees and lines.

Refugio Road is closed at this time due to flooding.  Highway 154 is closed in both directions due to rock slides, from 246 to 192.  There is no estimated time on reopening.  Please be advised that areas affected by road closures may not be able to repopulate yet. Check with ReadySBC, CHP and CalTrans for the latest road closure information.

The Santa Barbara County Type 3 All-Hazard Incident Management Team remains engaged and actively mitigating incidents that occurred as a result of the storm.

The National Weather Service has advised that the heaviest rains and high winds associated with the current storm have passed through Santa Barbara County. Showers are forecast to continue through Thursday with the possibility of thunderstorms producing short, heavy downpours. However, any additional rainfall is not anticipated to reach critical levels to cause debris flows.

Another weather system is expected to move through the Santa Barbara County South Coast Sunday through Tuesday. All residents who were asked to evacuate for this most recent storm should remain vigilant and continue to monitor the weather closely.

  • Stay alert to changing conditions. If you feel threatened at any time, leave immediately. DO NOT wait for an alert to evacuate.
  • Take caution when returning home.  Heavy rainfall may have resulted in movement of debris and road flooding. Expect flooding, slick roads, and debris in the area.
  • Be aware that response crews are continuing clean-up, repair efforts, and assessments.

We understand that evacuation orders are burdensome and we appreciate the community’s cooperation in following the guidance to leave yesterday before the more intense rain.

The evacuation center at Wake Center will be closed. If there are questions concerning animal sheltering, please call (805) 681-4332.

REGISTER TO RECEIVE PUBLIC SAFETY ALERTS: If you haven’t registered for emergency alerts, please do so at ReadySBC.org. Click on the red icon to register to receive emergency alerts via text, phone call, and email. 

For updated and detailed information, please visit ReadySBC.org or call Santa Barbara County’s Emergency Call Center at (833) 688-5551 or 211.

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Posted in Press Releases.
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