Rob Lewin
Paul Wellman

This May, Rob Lewin, director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), will retire from the post he’s held nearly four years. Lewin led OEM during the Thomas Fire — briefly the biggest wildfire in state history — and the 1/9 Debris Flow, the deadliest natural disaster in county history. County spokesperson Gina DePinto said Lewin leaves the department stronger and more cohesive; she said no plans have been finalized as to who will fill in as interim director. Last year, Lewin applied for the appointment as the county’s new fire chief but did not get the nod.


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