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Governor issues disaster declaration for Santa Barbara County to get aid for Alisal Fire recovery

Some of the damage caused along Highway 101 by the October 2021 Alisal Brush Fire in Santa Barbara County.

Declaration clears way for state to seek federal aid for highway repairs, as well as erosion control work.

The governor has declared a state of emergency for Santa Barbara County, to help get some financial assistance for recovery efforts from last year’s Alisal wildfire.

The move allows Caltrans to request funding from the federal government for highway repairs, and flood control work related to the blaze on the Gaviota Coast.

The 17,000 acre fire started last October, closing Highway 101 for days. It destroyed 12 homes. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Governor’s disaster declaration also makes it easier for those impacted by the Alisal Fire to access unemployment benefits. The governor issued a similar declaration for Monterey County, which was hit by what was called the Colorado Fire.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.