"Santa Barbara County's Back-To-Back Disasters"
County gets hit by 17,000 acre brush fire which closes major highway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, then two weeks later big storm creates flash flood issues.
Santa Barbara County was hit by a pair of back-to-back emergencies during a two week period in October of 2021.
On October 11th, a massive wildfire started in the mountains northwest of Santa Barbara. 70-mile-an-hour winds quickly pushed the blaze downhill for a dozen miles, burning all the way to the Pacific Ocean, and closing the main coastal highway from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The highway was closed for three days, with hundreds evacuated and 12 homes destroyed.
Then two weeks later, with the fire barely contained, a huge storm swept into the region, forcing more evacuations, threatening more homes, and making travel on the major highway dangerous. The concern was about the potential for flash flooding on the stripped mountain slopes. Fortunately, only minor damage was reported, but the concern was that homes, roads, and even the highway would be washed away.
Even though the area is 90 miles from our studios we were there with live, on-scene coverage of both emergencies. We have a small staff (for 18 years one, and now finally two full-time newspeople), but pride ourselves on being the front lines of fires and floods in our region (they are ongoing problems). We get updated information from the command posts, but report from the scene of news.
We did dozens of reports. This example includes live coverage from the fire, and then two weeks later a live report as the storm was hitting, with the entry illustrating our continuing coverage.