It is illegal to dump debris, mud, rocks or other material from the Jan. 9 debris flow into creek beds and storm drains. Dumping into creeks can cause significant flooding and debris flow hazards during future storms.

“Unfortunately, we have learned of a few instances of residents pushing mud into creek channels that were cleared following the Jan. 9 debris flow,” said Rob Lewin, director for the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management.

“We are working daily to find new debris disposal options and encourage the public to check for options,” he said.

Improper waste disposal violates several state and county laws and ordinances. Individuals, including property owners and contractors, are subject to penalties and fines if found illegally dumping.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Code enforcement officers are present in the impacted neighborhoods to monitor illegal activity. To report illegal dumping, contact the California Department of Fish and Wildlife CalTIP, 888-334-2258.

Property owners wanting to restore their properties to pre-storm conditions should refer to Mud Debris Clean-Up Guidelines at  before starting clean-up work to identify local permitted haulers, facilities that can accept the debris, and what to do if hazardous materials are encountered.

— Santa Barbara County Joint Information Center.