Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown (center) announces mandatory evacuations of the Thomas/Whittier/Sherpa fire burn areas, starting 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, due to a strong storm arriving.
Paul Wellman

Approaching heavy rains that may also coincide with thunderstorms late Tuesday have prompted Santa Barbara County officials to issue an evacuation order for the “red zone” areas below burn scars left by the Sherpa, Whittier, and Thomas wildfires.

The evacuation order goes into effect at 4 p.m.on March 5. The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office is advising people to be out of the red zone areas of the evacuation maps by that time.

Rainfall intensities at or slightly above the debris flow threshold levels are expected, starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday and lasting overnight until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

People can determine risk by street address at an interactive map at, which will have up-to-date information on the storm and related evacuations. Residents in need of assistance for themselves, others, and pets can also call (833) 688-5551.

For now, authorities anticipate the evacuation order to last about 24 hours.


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