Tag archives: wildfires

Helping Hawaii
By Richard Mineards   |   August 22, 2023

Oprah Winfrey, who owns more than 2,000 acres on the Hawaiian island of Maui with three different properties, has been helping out at a local rescue center after the catastrophic wildfires killed nearly 100 people and destroyed hundreds of homes. The former TV talk show titan, 69, brought diapers, pillows, and bottles of shampoo to […]

Fire Ban Remains in Effect
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 22, 2023

With hot temperatures continuing over the next week, Los Padres National Forest officials reminded visitors last week that an open fire ban remains in effect for the Santa Barbara front country while trail closures have been extended for the Old Romero Road (26W25), Romero Canyon Trail (26W14), and San Ysidro Trail (26W15 Singletrack) through August […]

Montecito Fire Chief David Neels is Taking the Fight to the Fire
By Jeff Wing   |   August 15, 2023

Montecito Fire Department’s (MFD) Station 91 is an understated, red-tiled building in the foothills above Montecito – at a glance more “stately hacienda” than Command Center; though the hacienda’s 30’ aerial somewhat gives the game away. Fire Chief David Neels likewise cuts an approachable figure. Soft-spoken and earnest but given to sudden grins, he is […]

Insurance Matters: What to Expect in 2023
By Grace Neumann   |   July 18, 2023

The risk management challenges facing affluent families grow steadily more complex each year. Losses from extreme weather events and higher reinsurance costs continue to reduce the availability of coverage in higher-risk areas. Widespread natural catastrophes and economic turmoil will challenge affluent families in 2023. With rates rising in nearly all insurance lines and capacity reserved […]

New Wildfire Cameras Will Spot Fires on the Santa Barbara Front Country
By Christina Favuzzi   |   December 13, 2022

If you are looking for an unobstructed, panoramic view of the Santa Barbara South Coast, there are few better vantage points than from TV Hill. The back patio of KEYT News Channel’s newsroom has been the setting of annual Unity Telethons and countless news reporter live shots.  Flames also licked up the TV Hill hillside […]

Citizen’s Suggestion Brings a Safer Montecito
By Gwyn Lurie   |   December 13, 2022

This week, Montecito became a little safer. On page 14 you can read about the ALERTCalifornia camera just installed on TV Hill that will provide 24/7 “eyes” on the Santa Barbara Front Country and eventually alert firefighters to new fire starts using artificial intelligence technology.  But before you read about this exciting and potentially lifesaving […]

The Building Blocks of Fire Prevention
By Christina Favuzzi   |   October 18, 2022

What comes to mind when you think of the month of October?  Probably, the color orange. Perhaps, a pumpkin. However, for local firefighters, the arrival of fall conjures up something else orange – wildfire.  The spring and fall months on Santa Barbara’s South Coast can be both the most spectacularly beautiful and the most treacherous.  […]

Neighborhood Chipping Program
By Christina Favuzzi   |   August 16, 2022

Resiliency is built over time, in small and large ways that collectively strengthen and prepare us for whatever challenges we might face.  “In Montecito, we know that wildfire will inevitably challenge us,” said Montecito Fire Chief Kevin Taylor. “That’s why, our community has been building resiliency against wildfire threats on an ongoing basis for decades.”  […]

Wildfire Risks Heating Up Homeowners Insurance Market
By Sharon Byrne   |   July 26, 2022

Last week was a big week for Montecito and California in homeowners insurance. At our Board Meeting, we hosted the California Department of Insurance and agents from Brown & Brown and Bridgepoint, who are finding policies for Montecitans. A Little Background After the Thomas Fire of December 2017, and the deadly Debris Flow, an emergency […]

Montecito Fire Hosts Wildfire Preparedness Community Meeting Plus, upcoming test of the ReadySBC Alert system across Montecito
By Christina Favuzzi   |   July 12, 2022

As we enjoy the sunny, warm summer weather, Montecito firefighters are acutely aware that our landscape is becoming drier and more receptive to rapid fire growth. It’s a reality of living in this stunning place.  “We all live with certain risks,” said Montecito Fire Chief Kevin Taylor. “When it comes to living with the risk […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

New Regulations to Reward Fire Risk Reduction
By Sharon Byrne   |   March 15, 2022

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announces new regulations to improve wildfire safety and drive down cost of insurance. Under the proposed regulations, which could be in effect by this summer, insurance companies would be required to factor consumers’ and businesses’ wildfire safety actions into their pricing of residential and commercial coverage. The new regulations also […]

Climate Change
By Tom Farr   |   February 1, 2022

Climate change has been in the news a lot, what with extreme weather, wildfires, and the recent international negotiations in Scotland. What I thought I could do here is go into the science behind what’s happening to the climate system and to leave the policy implications to my fellow citizens and their representatives; kind of […]

Montecito Fire Protection District Presents 2021 Annual Report
By Christina Favuzzi   |   January 18, 2022

As we step into 2022, Montecito Fire would like to share with the community our 2021 Annual Report. In it, we detail our successes and challenges in all aspects of our organization, from day-to-day operations to wildfire prevention work and community engagement. We encourage you to learn more about your Montecito Fire Department by reading […]

Montecito Firefighters’ Charitable Foundation: Providing Needed Financial Support
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 25, 2021

Montecito Firefighter Lucas Grant is too young to have personal memories of what it was like when local firefighters were an integral part of a community beyond responding to emergencies, but that Norman Rockwell image of the local firehouse as a friendly and helpful gathering place still pulls on his heart. “I hear stories about […]

Critical Reminder: It’s Sundowner Season on the South Coast
By Christina Favuzzi   |   October 26, 2021

The South Coast experienced its first, and hopefully only, significant wildland fire of the 2021 fire season last week. The Alisal Fire started above Refugio, along West Camino Cielo, at about 2 pm on October 11. It was propelled by powerful downcanyon winds — what are locally referred to as “sundowners.” Additionally, much of the […]

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 […]

Prepare Now to Protect Everyone You Love
By Christina Favuzzi   |   September 21, 2021

The serenity of the South Coast provides a sense of security that the next major disaster is unlikely to happen here. Yet, we only need to look a few pages back in our local history to know the potential for disaster in our quaint community is significant. Preparedness is a formidable and proactive defense to […]