Storm prompts new evacuation orders in Thomas Fire burn area

evacuation areas

Following a year of raging wildfires, officials are ordering some Central Coast residents to evacuate in anticipation of storms expected to produce flooding and mudslides in burn areas.

Mandatory evacuations are now in effect in some areas of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties affected by the recent Thomas Fire, which as of Monday morning, is still not fully extinguished. The Thomas Fire, which started on Dec. 4 and has burned a state-record 281,893 acres, remains 92 percent contained, as of Monday morning, but is expected to be fully extinguished as a result of the rainfall.

In Santa Barbara County, officials have issued evacuation orders for the Thomas, Whittier, Sherpa and Rey fire burn areas. The mandatory evacuations affect the communities of Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria, as well as El Capitan Canyon.

Residents in the mandatory evacuation zones must leave their homes by no later than 12 p.m. Monday. The Red Cross has assembled an evacuation shelter at Santa Barbara City College.

The oncoming storm is expected to bring two to four inches of rainfall along the Central Coast.

projected rainfall