Emergency officials with the city and county of Santa Barbara are issuing an evacuation order for residents within the Tea Fire burn area, including the Sycamore Canyon area, because of rainy weather conditions and the increased risk of potential flooding and mudslides.
Meanwhile, about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, an evacuation warning was issued for many residents living below the burn area, meaning they need to be ready to pack up and leave on a moment’s notice.
Also Tuesday night, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning.
The county has activated the call center at 805.681.5197 and is expecting the center to be up until about midnight. As of 5:30 p.m., about 500 residences had received reverse notification calls through the 9-1-1 system from the county and city of Santa Barbara notifying them of the evacuation.
An emergency shelter operated by the American Red Cross-Santa Barbara County Chapter will be open for evacuees at the Santa Barbara High School gymnasium, 700 E. Anapamu St.
Late Tuesday night, only one person was at the shelter.
Socorro Goodman, 75, rents a room out of a home on Sycamore Canyon Road.
“I’m the only one – it’s spooky,” she said, standing on the dimly lit basketball court.
Earlier in the night, a handful of people were at the shelter, but Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal put them up in a hotel.
“An evacuation order means residents are advised to leave the area now,” Geri Ventura, spokeswoman for the Montecito Fire Protection District, said in a statement early Tuesday evening.
Immediately after a fire, the soil geology can be very unstable and can become easily disturbed by the first rain, triggering mudslides.
The evacuation order includes homes within the burn area and Sycamore Canyon, north of the Five Points Roundabout.
In the county — which means unincorporated areas — the evacuation order is bounded by:
» East and West Mountain Drive from Cold Springs Road to El Cielito
» Gibraltar Road from El Cielito to East Camino Cielo, including the Mount Calvary Road burn area
» Chelham Way along Westmont Creek and Chelham Creek
In the city area, the evacuation orders include:
» Sycamore Canyon North from APS/Montecito Street to Stanwood
» Stanwood Drive west to El Cielito
» Conejo Road from Stanwood to Las Alturas
» Conejo Lane, Camino Alto, Orizaba Lane, Orizaba Road, Sherman Road, Eland Place and Mountain Drive east of El Cielito
Sycamore Canyon gates will remain closed. Be prepared to utilize alternative routes for evacuation.
The evacuation warning pertains to the following areas:
» The Area bordered by Salinas Street on the east to Highway 101.
» Highway 101 on the south to Quinientos Street.
On the west side:
» Quienientos Street north to Voluntario Street
» Voluntario Street west to Mason Street
» Mason Street north to Soledad Street
» Soledad Street west to Yanonali Street
» Yanonali Street north to Montecito Street
» Montecito Street north to Alameda Padre Serra/Salinas Street (Five Points)
For more information, tune to Montecito Information Radio at 1680 AM or click here.
On Monday, Santa Barbara County and city emergency officials issued an evacuation warning for the Tea Fire Burn Area, including the Sycamore Creek area and other areas immediately below the fire zone. Click here to see a map from the Montecito Fire Protection District showing the affected area.
Residents are urged to follow local National Weather Service information, which provides flash flood watches and warnings on the NOAA Weather radio and on the Web at www.weather.gov/losangeles.
A sandbag station is available for residents to protect their property. The station is at the Santa Barbara Corporate Annex Yard, 401 E. Yanonali St.
The station will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. until further notice, except on holidays. There is no limit on the number of sandbags residents of the Tea Fire area may take. Residents should be prepared to fill sandbags and bring gloves and shovels.
Additional sandbags also are available at County Fire Station 14, 320 Los Carneros in Goleta, and at the Montecito Fire Protection stations in Montecito.
In the event of a large emergency or disaster, the county will work with all bona fide news organizations to distribute emergency public information. The county’s “Stations of Choice” for emergency news include the following AM stations: KTMS-990, KZSB-1290, KUHL-1410, KINF-1440, plus the San Marcos Pass Radio Station 1040; and the following FM stations: KCSB-91.9; KSYV-96.7; KTYD-99.9; KSBL-101.7 and KRAZ-105.9. In addition, the Spanish language FM stations KSPE-94.5 and KIST-107.7 are also designated “Stations of Choice” in the cooperative agreement with the county.