Tag archives: fires

MFPD Approves Evacuation Study
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 2, 2022

Last Friday, July 22, the Montecito Fire Protection District Board of Directors was given a presentation by Chelsea Richer of Fehr & Peers, a consultant company hired by the District to conduct an in-depth study of the District’s evacuation plan. The study took hundreds of hours over 10 months to complete and provided the District […]

Fire Department Updates
By Kevin Taylor   |   May 10, 2022

As high fire season approaches, your Montecito firefighters train for the inevitable: weeks of grueling work fighting wildfires across California and, potentially, here at home. Your firefighters are put through a wildland firefighting refresher course each spring in preparation.  Wildland Training Due to the physical demands of wildland firefighting, the refresher course includes a timed, […]

Wildfire Expo: Getting Wise Around Fire
By Jeff Wing   |   May 10, 2022

Frankenstein’s monster perhaps said it best: “Fire bad.” This is a capable summation but lacks actionable detail — and here in the celebrated Wildfire State, actionable detail is what it’s all about. Fortunately, the good people of Santa Barbara County’s Firesafe Council are hosting a three-day event that promises not just to fill the gaps […]

Who Can Fix California’s Homeowners Insurance Woes? Insurance Commissioner Race Heats Up
By Sharon Byrne   |   April 26, 2022

Things are getting hotter regarding California homeowners insurance, and threat of wildfire is just one factor. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is up for reelection this year and at least one candidate is laying out a viable case to replace him.  Last week, former California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner (2007-2011) ran an op-ed in the Los […]

Deputies Arrest Arsonist in Carpinteria
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 1, 2022

Traffic was at a standstill this past weekend, with an underground fire causing the closure of the northbound freeway lanes near Via Real on Saturday evening. After an ongoing investigation of the fire, which was believed to be coming from a storm drain under the freeway, Sheriff’s deputies arrested a suspect they believe intentionally set […]

Alisal Fire is a Sobering Reminder of Lurking Dangers
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 19, 2021

At this month’s Montecito Association Board Meeting, the Board of Directors touched on many community topics, including fires, crimes, transportation, the holidays, and more.  During community reports, Montecito Fire Chief Kevin Taylor, reporting from the front lines of the Alisal Fire, said the 13,000-acre fire (as of press time) was a good reminder for everyone […]

The Montecito Association: 73 Years Old, Still Fighting Tirelessly, and Standing with YOU
By Sharon Byrne   |   August 12, 2021

I came to the Montecito Association in September of 2018, brought over from the Coast Village Association by then-president Charlene Nagel. The Montecito community was hard hit by the first giga-fire in California – Thomas — and resultant Debris Flow. I had disaster recovery experience, from finding my missing parents in the aftermath of Hurricane […]

Death and Taxes! Goodbye Lloyd’s of London
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 29, 2021

A common refrain that has echoed around American society for the last 70 years or so goes like this: “Nothing in life is certain, except death and taxes!” Cute, and up until recently a truism that could be counted on. No longer. It turns out there is one other thing that is certain, is inescapable, […]

Thank you, Montecito
By Christina Favuzzi   |   July 22, 2021

Thank you to everyone who cut back overgrown vegetation to make your community safer from future wildfires. Thank you for hauling your branches and brush to the curb, for welcoming our chipping crews to your neighborhood and for taking initiative to protect your home ahead of fire season. Now in its 22nd year, Montecito Fire’s […]

Wildfire Season is Upon Us: Here’s How Montecito Fire Can Help You Prepare
By Christina Favuzzi   |   May 27, 2021

High fire season is officially underway for the South Coast. It’s easy to feel worried when looking at the parched brush, dramatically lacking rainfall totals, and concerning forecasts for warmer temperatures and impending sundowner winds. However, worry is not an effective method for survival. Instead, your Montecito Fire Department is focused on educating and preparing […]

Big Problems Call for Big Solutions
By Sharon Byrne   |   May 13, 2021

High fire season in Santa Barbara County started on May 3, with California coming off a record-setting year. According to the Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council (SBCFSC), a total of 9,639 fires burned some 4.4 million acres of land, making 2020 the largest wildfire season recorded in the state’s modern history. The 2021 fire […]

We Need More Controlled Burns to Prevent Wildfires
By Montecito Journal   |   September 17, 2020

Residents in California have been waking up to apocalyptic orange skies caused by wildfires across the state. For a Thought Leader Series, we share a ProPublica article that dives deeper into solutions for reducing the severity of what many are now calling “megafires.” Tim Ingalsbee is a previous wildland firefighter who is frustrated with the […]

Wind, Wires, and Fire
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   September 10, 2020

The devastating Paradise Fire of 2018 was caused by sparking from Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E’s) high-voltage transmission lines that run through all sorts of back country and forests in Northern California. Unfortunately, that tragedy is but one of dozens of fires started from high-voltage transmission lines which, by definition, often run through forests and […]

Letters to the Editor
By Montecito Journal   |   October 1, 2019

Sue Happy Supervisors The old saying, “What goes around, comes around,” should be the new County motto! That is, our County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has done virtually nothing to prevent forest fires by way of reducing fuel loads or creating adequate buffers between the urban and wildland interface. Moreover, they have not maximized the […]

Fêting the Firefighters
By Richard Mineards   |   December 13, 2018

After inviting Montecito firefighters to her home a year ago during the Thomas Fire, former Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres followed up by having them come to her Burbank based studio for her popular eponymous TV talk show. “It was quite a day,” says local realtor Diana MacFarlane, whose son, Dan is pictured third from the […]

Notable & Quotable
By Montecito Journal   |   November 22, 2018

“The saddest part about these fires in California is that they are self-inflicted. Californians should not allow such mismanagement to continue. At what point will common-sense forest management practices win out over the ideologically driven environmental lobby? Soon, I hope, or Paradise might not be the only thing lost.”– Krystina Skurk (The Federalist) (Ms Skurk […]

Montecito Association
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 22, 2018

Also at last week’s MA meeting, Montecito Fire’s Division chief of operations Kevin Taylor urged the audience to register for our local notification system, Aware & Prepare, following the release of discouraging notification statistics from the County Office of Emergency Management. According to the County, only 12 percent of residents countywide are signed up for […]

Firefighter Paramedic Shawn Whilt
By Beverlye Fead   |   October 25, 2018

Thirty-six-year-old Shawn Whilt is the second of Montecito’s heroes that I am fortunate enough to interview. Shawn, a younger, handsome Tom Hanks-ish kind of guy with blue, blue eyes is a Santa Barbara Native. He was born here, went to Santa Barbara High, Santa Barbara City College, and then UCSB.  He was active in sports […]

New Map to be Released
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 18, 2018

At last week’s Montecito Association Board meeting, the board heard from Rob Lewin, director of the County’s Office of Emergency Management, who gave a preview of a presentation that he will be giving to the larger community at a special meeting on Thursday, October 25.  “As we approach the rainy season, it’s vital that we […]

Daniel Arnold – Montecito Firefighter
By Beverlye Fead   |   October 18, 2018

As those of you who have read my column know, I have written about people who are still thriving and doing what they love in the third and fourth chapters of their lives. For the next few weeks, however, I am going to write about five of Montecito’s firefighters who literally saved our lives in […]