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Evacuation warning issued for Santa Barbara County burn areas ahead of storm

Posted at 4:43 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 23:04:07-05

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has issued an evacuation warning for the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa fire burn areas because of heavy rain expected to hit the Central Coast on Friday night.

Emergency officials say, if the forecast does not change, an evacuation order will be issued Friday. Residents in those areas are urged to prepare for an evacuation order, getting essential personal items and pets ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

The affected areas are identified in a debris flow risk map on the county’s website.

KSBY meteorologist Dave Hovde says the heaviest rain is expected to fall in Santa Barbara County between 3 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday.

One to three inches of rain is expected for the coast, while two to four inches could fall in the mountains. Rain rates could be between .5 to one inch per hour.