Fire Chief Kevin Taylor Talks COVID-19 and Crazy Weather
By Nick Schou   |   April 30, 2020

When I first met Montecito Fire Chief Kevin Taylor last year, I remember asking him what the biggest challenge was facing his department. “The weather,” he told me, quickly adding that the sheer unpredictability of Montecito’s weather threats, be they fire or rain, made his job uniquely worrisome. This week, I caught up with Taylor […]

New Fire Code
By Kelly Herrick   |   February 27, 2020

Reps from the Montecito Fire Protection District were in front of Montecito Planning Commission last week outlining recent amendments to the District’s Fire Code. Fire Marshal & Battalion Chief Aaron Briner outlined the changes, which include changes to access road width and design, fire sprinklers requirements, emergency power systems, and more. Every three years, the […]


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The Los Padres Crew
By Nick Schou   |   February 27, 2020

About four miles and 3,500 vertical feet uphill from the San Ysidro Trailhead, a Los Padres Forest Association (LPFA) work crew wearing hardhats printed in block letters with their names, are wielding hand hoes. They’re fixing a somewhat crumbling ridge dotted with small bushes and the scorched skeletons of small trees that burned in the […]

Ashley Road Bridge Reopens
By Kelly Herrick   |   February 13, 2020

Earlier this week the Ashley Road bridge reopened after being closed for more than two years following the catastrophic events of the 1/9 debris flow. This Thursday, February 13, a reopening ceremony will be held on the bridge at 10:30 am. “Each step in the recovery and rebuilding process is a reason to celebrate,” said […]

MFPD Wins Award
By Kelly Herrick   |   February 6, 2020

The Wildfire Mitigation Awards committee has named the three recipients of this year’s Wildfire Mitigation Awards. These individuals and organizations have earned the highest commendation for innovation and leadership in wildfire mitigation for their outstanding dedication to solving many of the most complex challenges posed by wildfire; Montecito Fire Department joins Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church […]

Cal Fire Launches Parolee Program
By Kelly Herrick   |   January 23, 2020

If you’ve been up in the foothills of Montecito the last few weeks, you may have seen crews of men clearing out brush from our local hillsides as part of the Montecito Fire Protection District’s vegetation management program. For the last several years, the crews used to perform the work have been inmate fire crews […]

Garet Blake, Firefighter and Paramedic, Montecito Fire Department
By Beverlye Fead   |   January 2, 2020

As much as my husband, Bob, and I love all our local firefighters, we have a special feeling for this particular member of the team, the reason for which will be revealed as you read down to the finish of the article. Blake was born and raised in Moorpark, California. His single mother, an emergency […]

By Kelly Herrick   |   December 26, 2019

On Tuesday, December 10, the Montecito Fire Protection District marked the retirement of Communications Coordinator Jackie Jenkins, who served MFPD for 21 years. Jenkins began in Public Safety on April 1, 1980, at California State Parks, Pt. Mugu as an YCC Crew Member. At the same agency, Jackie continued as lifeguard and seasonal Ranger until […]

Coast Village Circle Closures
By Kelly Herrick   |   September 26, 2019

Paving work began on Coast Village Circle earlier this week; the beginning of a two-month long restoration project to rehabilitate the road following the 1/9 Debris Flow in January 2018. The Debris Flow caused major damage to the roadway on Coast Village Circle due to flooding and the presence of heavy equipment; the project will […]


Neighborhood Fire Prevention Project
By Kelly Herrick   |   September 19, 2019

Since 1994, the Montecito Fire Department has partnered with the community to prepare for the High Fire Season by reducing the density of vegetation along strategic portions of roadways as well as on private property. The intent of the Neighborhood Fire Prevention Project is to assist property owners in improving the defensible space around their […]

Chief Hickman to Retire
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 30, 2019

At a Montecito Fire Protection District board meeting last week, Montecito Fire Chief Chip Hickman announced his retirement in July. Before taking the role as Chief in 2012 as the successor of Fire Chief Kevin Wallace, Chief Hickman was a 21-year veteran of the MFPD, beginning his career in 1990 as one of the District’s […]

By Kelly Herrick   |   April 18, 2019

This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and the Montecito Fire Protection District would like to acknowledge and thank their dispatchers for their dedication, hard work, and amazing skills. “They are the heroes behind the scene, processing emergent and non-emergent calls for service on a daily basis,” said MFPD Communications Coordinator Jackie Jenkins.  The […]

MFPD Update
By Kelly Herrick   |   March 14, 2019

The Montecito Fire Protection District received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance.  “This award is a testament to Montecito Fire Protection District’s commitment to open government,” said Fire Chief Chip Hickman. “The entire district staff is to […]

New Board Member at MFPD
By Kelly Herrick   |   January 31, 2019

At a board meeting on Monday, January 28, the Montecito Fire Protection District Board of Directors appointed a new director: Judy Ishkanian. Ishkanian takes the seat vacated by John Venable, who served for 16 years on the Fire District Board before announcing his retirement in December. Ishkanian will be required to run for the seat […]