woolsey fire

A storm system bringing what could be record rainfall for this time of year has arrived on the Central Coast, and will spread to the South Coast overnight Wednesday.  But, no serious problems like major debris flows are expected in brush fire burn zones.

Meteorologists say we are still on track to get around a half inch of rain on the coast, and up to two inches in our mountain, and foothill areas.

Photo by California Governor's Office of Emergency Services

Crews are making progress on cleaning up hundreds of properties that were devastated by the Woolsey and Hill Fires in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

It has been about six months since the Woolsey and Hill wildfires destroyed more than 1,500 properties. About two-thirds of those are under the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program with no direct cost to owners.

Keep your umbrella handy. You may need it for the next few days, with everything from sprinkles to locally heavy rain possible for the Central and South Coasts.

The forecast is going to be a tricky one, with a low pressure system over Nevada backsliding our way.

A Ventura County Air Unit helicopter dips low over a brush covered hill behind the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, dropping water near dozens of firefighters creating a fire break. It’s all for show, to raise awareness about the brush fire threat. But, firefighters on the Central and South Coasts are already starting to deal with the real thing.

As a result of the region’s brush fires and flooding, property owners in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties who meet certain requirements still have time to have their property taxes deferred. The state Property Tax Postponement program allows delayed payment for homeowners who are at least 62, or disabled, and meet income guidelines.

In what would be an otherwise quiet Ventura County neighborhood, a huge excavator is chewing through a giant pile of debris. It’s dropping scoop after scoop of rubble into a parade of waiting dump trucks.

The rubble is the remains of one of the more than 1500 structures destroyed by the Hill and Woolsey fires in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

An actor and singer who’s perhaps best known for his role in the iconic movie “Forrest Gump” is hosting a free show in Ventura County this weekend to honor public safety first responders. Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band will host what’s being called the “Concert For Defenders” Saturday at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

You can hear the wind whipping, and the flames crackling as you are surrounded on three sides by a raging brush fire. It’s an overwhelming, almost frightening experience. But, it isn’t real. It’s part of a new multimedia exhibit on the South Coast which mixes art and science, called “Burn Cycle: Living With Fire.”

A weak storm system is passing through the Central and South Coasts, with rainfall amounts so light there is no concern about problems in the region’s brush fire burn zones. There’s been less than a tenth of an inch of rain in the region.

More than 200 properties in Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties hit by the Woolsey, and Hill fires have now been cleared under a state run debris removal program. 24 parcels have been cleared in Ventura County, and 185 in Los Angeles County.

The second wave of a major storm moved through the Central and South Coast Thursday, dropping sometimes heavy rainfall but creating no major problems for the region. Rainfall totals ranged from around a half inch to around four inches in some spots.

State officials say despite the rain during the last two weeks, crews have completed the first round of debris removal work on some properties hit by the Hill, and Woolsey brush fires. 32 sites have been cleared in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties through the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program.

FEMA has extended the deadline for people seeking federal help as a result of the Hill, and Woolsey brush fires in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

The deadline was January 31st, but it’s now been changed to February 15th.

The trio of storms which hit the Central and South Coasts this week left some impressive rain totals for some areas.

Among the highest are Nordhoff Ridge in Ventura County, which had 9.4” of rain, and San Marcos Pass, with 7.8”

Looking at rainfall in some major cities, Santa Barbara had 2.5” of rain, Montecito 3.5”, Ventura 3.3", Thousand Oaks 4.8”, and Agoura Hills 4.3.”

(NWS Image)

A powerful storm which at one point triggered some Flash Flood Warnings in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties continues to hit the region, but the rainfall has eased enough for the warnings to be cancelled.

The storm has dumped more than four inches of rain in some mountain areas in a less than 24 hour period.

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