santa barbara county

A search and rescue team looking for a missing Los Angeles County firefighter has discovered a body on the South Coast.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded Friday afternoon to a report of a suspicious vehicle that was parked near the Hot Springs Trailhead in Montecito since Monday. Witnesses say the only man in that vehicle was last seen walking up the trailhead.

Photo by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

The vehicle of a missing Los Angeles County firefighter has been found in Santa Barbara County. But there’s still no sign of 43-year-old Wayne Stuart Habel of Newhall.

LA County Sheriff’s officials say the 2008 Black Chrysler Aspen was located in a rural area of Montecito by a passerby Friday afternoon. Authorities searched in the area near the vehicle, but Habel was not found.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Santa Barbara County firefighters are getting close to fully containing a brush fire on the Central Coast. The 110-acre Windmill Fire near Buellton is now 80% contained.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Firefighters in Santa Barbara County are getting a handle on a brush fire on the Central Coast.

The 110-acre Windmill Fire west of Buellton near Highway 246 is now 40% contained.

A brush fire has burned more than 30 acres of brush in central Santa Barbara County Friday afternoon.

The fire was reported just after 2 p.m. on the 1000 block of Highway 246, west of Buellton.  The blaze is burning in light grass, and no structures are reported to be in immediate danger.

However, residents of the Bobcat Springs area have been alerted of the potential for problems should the fire continue to grow.  Firefighters are using aircraft in their efforts to contain the blaze.  There's no word on the cause yet.

(Photo by Dave Zaniboni, Santa Barbara County Fire department)

A brush fire in Santa Barbara County has burned more than 150 acres of land, and has closed a section of Highway 1.

What's being called the Cruces Fire broke out just before noon off of Highway 1, about three miles northwest of the 101-1 intersection.

It's in a rugged, sparsely populated area.  A few ranches on the 7200 block of Highway 1 were evacuated as a precaution, but no other homes are reported to be directly threatened.

More than 150 firefighters aided by helicopters and air tankers are fighting the fire.

A brush fire in Santa Barbara County has forced the closure of Highway 1.

What’s being called the Cruces Fire was reported just before noon Wednesday near Highway 1 about three miles northwest of the Highway 1-Highway 101 interchange.

No structures were reported to be immediately threatened.

Santa Barbara County provides law enforcement services for four cities in the county, and a new study shows that the county is actually subsidizing some costs.

County Sheriff’s Deputies serve Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, and Solvang, which don’t have their own police departments.

A longtime law enforcement officer in Southern California has taken on a major new role with Santa Barbara County.

County Undersheriff Barney Melekian has been named the county’s new Assistant County Executive Officer for Public Safety.

Santa Barbara County Supervisors approved a $1.1 billion dollar budget for the new fiscal year which doesn’t call for any layoffs, and does include an estimated six million dollars in revenue from new county marijuana taxes.

The budget includes an estimated 85 new full-time jobs, most of which are tied to the ramping-up of staff needed for the new County jail being built in Santa Maria.

With a rise in the number of dog attacks in Santa Barbara County, there’s now an updated law intended to bring those numbers down.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services Director Jan Glick says the Board of Supervisors recently unanimously agreed to revise its Vicious Dog Ordinance, making it more restrictive.

Photo by First 5 Santa Barbara County

A campaign has recently launched in Santa Barbara County aimed at boosting early brain development and language skills for young children. 

Media spots are being used to promote the Talking Is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing campaign by First 5 Santa Barbara County. The local branch of First Five is taking the statewide campaign and rolling it out locally.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Two wildfires are continuing to burn on the Central Coast as hundreds of people evacuate.

The Whittier Fire, which is burning in the Santa Ynez Valley, has grown to 7,800 acres. It’s only 5% contained. Firefighters are especially concerned because it’s near hundreds of homes. Santa Barbara County Fire officials say some structures have been destroyed, but it’s not clear if any of those were homes. Mandatory evacuations were issued for homes as well as campgrounds. The brush fire broke out Saturday afternoon off of Highway 154, about 12 miles east of Solvang.

There are ways to make your home more energy efficient. You can learn all about it at a workshop this week on the Central Coast. 

Santa Barbara County has a program called emPower that focuses on helping single-family homeowners achieve energy efficiency. Ashley Watkins with emPower says there are a lot of things you can do.

Firefighters are trying to determine the cause of a brush fire which burned some 250 acres of land in eastern Santa Barbara County, at one point briefly threatening some homes.

The fire was discovered just after 3 p.m. Sunday near Perkins Road south of New Cuyama.

Santa Barbara County firefighters had to deal with strong wind which made the fire initially tough to stop. Two air tankers and a helicopter stopped the spread of the blaze in about two hours.