Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
Courtesy Photo

[UPDATE: Dec. 8, 1:26 p.m.] The 2017 Parade of Lights is among the many area events canceled due to the Thomas Fire. Santa Barbara Harbor Operations Manager Mick Kronman announced the suspension of Sunday’s event “owing to hazardous air quality conditions, plus out of respect for victims and responders to our regional wildfires.” He said the theme of “Hollywood Holidays” would be continued to next year’s boat parade.

A free breakfast for fire victims is on the menu at The Blue Owl on Sunday morning, however. Proprietor Cindy Black wrote to spread the word that she plans to open her restaurant at 5 West Canon Perdido Street at 10 a.m. on December 10 and will serve up a tasty meal “until the food runs out.”

Likewise, the city’s tourism bureau, Visit Santa Barbara, has posted a list of hotels offering special rates to first responders and those evacuating from the Thomas Fire. More information can be found here.

[ORIGINAL STORY] While many area businesses shut down Friday, a number of charitable organizations announced efforts to assistant humans and animals impacted by the Thomas Fire.

Many hotels are offering discounted rates. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has made some rooms at Hadsten House Inn & Spa available for free to Thomas Fire evacuees through Sunday.

The Santa Barbara Foodbank announced it would distribute food at four locations for area residents who are affected by the Thomas Fire “even if not evacuated.” They said some kids miss breakfast and lunch when schools close and workers lose income when businesses shut down. To donate, click here.

The sites include the Foodbank’s warehouse located at 4554 Hollister Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; its offices located at 1525 State Street, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Reality Church located at 5251 6th Street in Carpinteria from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf located at 4991 Carpinteria Ave from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Ventura County Fairgrounds is accepting clothes, diapers, food, water, and other items for evacuees.

For animals in need of shelter, Santa Barbara County Animal Control can advise on the places available for small and large animals and livestock. Owners can phone (805) 387-8911 for shelter locations.

The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club has taken in more than 150 horses evacuated from the fire. The club is boarding them for free for up to a week, but owners should contact Jeff Scheraga at (315) 256-5797 or to make arrangements before trailering over. Owners are responsible for ordering feed. The club is requesting help feeding, watering, and mucking the stables with the influx of animals, as well as supply donations. Contact volunteer coordinator Shannon McGraw at (805) 455-2400 to offer help.

The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network took in the bird patients from Ojai’s Raptor Center on Tuesday. Lizzie Chouinard said her education ambassador birds are indoors, protected from the smoke, and in crates should evacuation become necessary.

More resources have been made available in the form of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) funding approved by President Donald Trump and made available by Governor Jerry Brown’s declaration of a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County, as well as Ventura, San Diego, Riverside counties, which are all affected by ongoing wildfires. The federal Fire Assistance Management Grant will underwrite 75 percent of the cost of the firefight, with the state and counties carrying the rest.

Santa Barbara County proclaimed a local emergency Friday afternoon, which allows it to access the state and federal resources. The Board of Supervisors is expected to formally adopt the emergency status at next Tuesday’s meeting. “This proclamation is an important step our County is taking to ensure we have the maximum level of resources available during this disaster,” said Supervisor Joan Hartmann.


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