Montecito Mudslide US&R Update

Mutual aid crews from around California continue to work at this hour to reopen Highway 101 in Santa Barbara, city and county roads and push forward with urban search and rescue missions. It’s now been one week since the mudslide devastated this area, taking lives and displacing others. The transition to search and recovery has been made, with a top priority of finding the three persons still missing. Evacuation areas are still not safe for anyone to travel, but the overall recovery mission is ongoing, and local, state and federal resources are fully committed.


Facts and Figures

Current Situation:

  • The County transitioned from Search and Rescue mode to Search and Recovery. Crews continue searching buildings and debris flows for trapped victims.
  • The unstable environment remains a critical threat to civilians and responders.
  • Large amounts of mud and debris make access and progress challenging.
  • Damage inspection is ongoing with six damage assessments teams including building inspectors scheduled to go out in the field.
  • The shelter at the Santa Barbara City College transitioned as of 1/15/18 to the San Marcos High School – 4750 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara
  • Earl Warren Showgrounds animal shelter


  • On January 2, 2018, FEMA Declared a Major Disaster, (FEMA DR-4353) with an incident period starting on December 4, 2017 for Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.
    • The Declaration was granted for Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation.
    • On January 10, 2018, the Declaration was expanded to include flooding; mud and debris flows in the designated fire areas; and the USDA Emergency Loan Program for the primary Counties of Ventura and Santa Barbara and contiguous Counties of Kern, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo.
    • On January 15, 2018, the Declaration was amended to include Individual Assistance for Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.
  • On January 8, 2018, Santa Barbara County proclaimed a local emergency. The proclamation was ratified on January 9, 2018, accompanied by a formal request for the Governor to proclaim a state of emergency.
  • On January 7, 2018, the City of Burbank requested a proclamation.



Santa Barbara


Shawn Boyd

Shawn Boyd joined Cal OES as a public information officer in 2014 after a 20-year career in television news as a reporter, anchor and executive producer. He's a Cal State Sacramento alum and former US Navy yeoman and Air Force brat.

One thought on “Montecito Mudslide US&R Update

  • May 12, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    I am Emily, a student from the Irvine Unified School District in California. I heard about the mudslide that took away lives and demolished houses in January caused by the wild fires in Santa Barbara. In our school, for a history project, each group has to choose a topic about a problem in our community and the solution for it to be fixed, some of the Irvine council members are also going to be there, With mudslides being a severe matter, our group decided to make a speech about mudslides hoping to raise the awareness for it. The speech is on Monday, May 14th, time to be specified, at Sierra Vista Middle School, if a representative from the fire department can come to explain and help reinforce our speech of personal experiences or how to prevent mudslides in Irvine from wild fires since it is very common in Southern California, then it would be greatly appreciated, but if that is not available, then if any of the following questions answered will also help:)

    1. How can mudslides affect human’s day to day lives?

    2. What can we do to try to prevent the mudslides caused by wild fires here in Southern California/the damage from it?

    3. What causes mudslides?

    4. Are there any personal experiences with this?


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