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***US 101 and SR 154 OPEN*** 

Community members should go to ReadySBC.org for up-to-date information on evacuations and road closures.


National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard CA
6:39 AM PDT Fri Mar 16 2018


.A cold low pressure system will be moving into southwest California today with snow levels dropping to as low as 3500 feet by Saturday. 3 to 6 inches of snow are expected above 5000 feet and light accumulations are possible on Interstate 5 over the Grapevine Saturday afternoon through early Sunday morning.

Santa Barbara County Mountains-Ventura County Mountains-
Los Angeles County Mountains excluding the Santa Monica Range-
Including the cities of San Marcos Pass,
San Rafael Wilderness Area, Dick Smith Wilderness Area,
Lockwood Valley, Mount Pinos, Acton, Mount Wilson, and Sandberg
6:39 AM PDT Fri Mar 16 2018


* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations 3 to 6 inches above 5000 ft and up to 3 inches down to 4000 feet.

* WHERE…The mountains of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties.

* WHEN…From noon today to 5 AM PDT Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions and be prepared for reduced visibilities at times. Interstate 5 over the Grapevine, Highway 2 through the San Gabriel Mountains, and Highway 33 through the Ventura County Mountains will likely be impacted by the snow.

Fire Weather Planning Forecast for Southwestern California
National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard CA
2:50 PM PDT Fri Mar 16 2018

…A storm system moves through area through Saturday, then dry Sunday through Tuesday before a stronger system may arrive by Tuesday night…

DISCUSSION…The cold upper level low pressure system moving through northern California will drag a cold front with lower  elevation rain and higher elevation snow over the district tonight through Saturday. Rainfall rates with this system will be light to moderate as peak rates are expected to be between 0.1 and 0.25 inches per hour. Although showers will be more isolated on Saturday and Saturday evening, as the upper level low moves just to the north of the area the colder air aloft will make for a more unstable atmosphere and produce the potential for brief heavier showers, mainly for areas north of Point Conception extending southward through the higher elevations of Los Angeles County. Hourly rainfall rates in any showers that do develop could be around 0.25 to 0.50
inches per hour. Rainfall totals through Saturday will range between a quarter to just over a half an inch coasts and valleys and around an inch in the higher elevations. Snow levels will be between 4000 and 5000 feet with snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches above 5000 feet and up to 3 inches down to 4000 feet.

Drier conditions arrive on Sunday and will remain through Tuesday. A much stronger storm is then forecast to move through the area starting late Tuesday night and lingering through Thursday. Certainty on timing and intensity with this storm system has improved with  recent model runs. Rainfall totals with this stronger storm could possibly be in the 1-2 inch range and even higher on south-facing slopes. More importantly, there`s a potential for rainfall rates to exceed one inch per hour. This would present issues for recent burn  areas and the threat of debris flows.

Sky/weather………Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers and numerous snow showers in the evening, then slight chance of rain and snow showers.
Min temperature…..37-45 low elevations to 27-35 colder valleys and peaks.
24 hr trend……Little change.
Max humidity……..80-100 percent.
24 hr trend……Down 7.
20-foot winds…….
Valleys/lwr slopes…West 10-20 mph with gusts to 25 mph in the evening becoming northwest 6-12 mph.
Ridges/upr slopes….Southwest 15-25 mph with gusts to 35 mph in the evening becoming northwest 6-12 mph.
CWR (>0.10 IN)……50 percent.

Sky/weather………Partly cloudy then becoming mostly cloudy. Chance of rain and snow showers in the afternoon.
Max temperature…..46-54 low elevations to 36-44 higher elevations.
24 hr trend……Little change.
Min humidity……..60-80 percent except 50-60 percent higher peaks and warmer valleys.
24 hr trend……Down 4.
20-foot winds…….
Valleys/lwr slopes…South increasing to 6-12 mph then becoming northwest late in the afternoon.
Ridges/upr slopes….Northeast 6-12 mph becoming northwest 10-20 mph with gusts to 25 mph in the afternoon.
CWR (>0.10 IN)……10 percent.

Sky/weather………Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Chance of rain and snow showers in the evening, then slight chance of snow showers.
Min temperature…..34-42 low elevations to 25-32 colder valleys and peaks.
Max humidity……..75-100 percent.
20-foot winds…….
Valleys/lwr slopes…North 6-12 mph.
Ridges/upr slopes….North 10-20 mph with gusts to 25 mph.
CWR (>0.10 IN)……10 percent.

Sky/weather………Partly cloudy.
Max temperature…..53-61 low elevations to 43-51 higher elevations.
Min humidity……..35-50 percent.
20-foot winds…….
Valleys/lwr slopes…North 6-12 mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Ridges/upr slopes….North 6-12 mph becoming northwest 6-12 mph in the afternoon.
CWR (>0.10 IN)……0 percent.

16 March 2018 15:15 hrs. MSW

March 10, 2018   Comments Off on STORM WATCH III


On Monday February 12th , the Santa Barbara County Fire Department (SBCFD) will transition from a High Fire Season to a Winter Preparedness Level.
With this transition, the ban on permit burning within State Responsibility Areas (SRA) and Local Responsibility Areas (LRA) within the jurisdiction of the SBCFD has been lifted. Individuals with a valid burn permit may resume permitted burning in Santa Barbara County. Please note: These permits are issued for burn piles only and are not intended for the burning of standing vegetation.

Prior to issuance of a permit, all burn sites and piles will be inspected by the SBCFD for compliance with the appropriate permit conditions. The permittee must contact the fire department prior to starting any permit burn. As a reminder, all permit holders are responsible to be compliant with all permit rules and guidelines. Property owners and permit holders could be held liable for any escaped burn on their property that requires fire department assistance. Non-compliance could result in a citation and/or full cost recovery.

Burn days are determined by the time of year and the weather. Burning during the winter months when the fuel moisture levels are high and temperatures are low is preferred. Also, the ability of the smoke to mix with the atmosphere is critical. A high pressure, stable condition is not recommended for burning due to the inability of the smoke to easily dissipate. Predicted high winds can also suspend burning. Burning is never allowed on Sundays or holidays. The SBCFD and Air Pollution Control District work closely together to determine appropriate days for permit burning.

Each day, the SBCFD announces on a recorded phone line whether permit burning is allowed. The public can ascertain whether it is a permissive burn day by calling (805) 686-8177.

Although the fire danger has decreased considerably, it is still possible to have wildfires during the winter months in Southern California. Santa Barbara County residents are encouraged to continue to reduce flammable vegetation around their structures, property and roads. Through the Ready! Set! Go! Program, land owners have the opportunity to be educated about issues concerning defensible space and vegetation removal.

February 9, 2018   Comments Off on BURN PERMITS OPEN

Local, Regional, State and Federal Radio Frequency Updates

There have been changes of local, regional and statewide fire radio frequencies so now is a good time to update the programming of your scanner.

Knowing what is happening locally in real time is essential in an emergency. If you do not have a radio scanner, please consider purchasing one. You do not need an expensive digital trunking scanner for local fire and emergency monitoring. All local fires, medical aids, traffic collisions and assorted emergencies are dispatched by Santa Barbara County on 153.770 Mhz.

Local public safety radio frequencies, WRA communications plans and CalOES FIRESCOPE downloads are posted here.

Please call the office at 964-7194 if you have any questions.

Updated: 5 July 2017 MSW

July 1, 2017   Comments Off on Local, Regional, State and Federal Radio Frequency Updates


Updated: December 1, 2017

Work on the San Marcos Pass Mountainous Area Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) continues with the November 30th 2017 draft CWPP posted below.  Mountain residents are represented on the Development Team including Rocky Siegel (WRA-SMPVFD) for areas west of Highway 154, Kevin Buckley (PCVFD) for areas east of Highway 154 and Mark Linnane for Paradise Canyon. Phil Seymour, a long time Painted Cave mountain resident as the representative for the Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council and the WRA.

If you have questions, please contact the WRA by email at community@wildlandresidents.org or call the office at 964-7194. You can also email the Development Team through the County Fire Department at CWPP@countyofsb.org. Additionally, you can monitor this website and NextDoor for future notices and document postings.

San Marcos Pass-Eastern Goleta Valley Mountainous Communities CWPP Draft V3.1 2017NOV30

Los Padres_climate change summary_Final_March 2016

EGV_SMP_Relative Hazard Rating Fuels
Development Team Memo – Timing of CEQA Compliance for CWPP

SMP CWPP Fuel Modification Guidelines – Version 2

EGV SMP Damage Run Potential San Marcos Pass

Community Wildfire Protection Plan Development Process


DRAFT- Development Team Mtg Agenda_MAY15_2017

Fuel Treatment Effectiveness_05012017

19APR2017_draft_structure related components

Ember Exposure Zones_02232017

Development Team Meeting Notes_04172017

Draft Development Team Mtg Agenda_03062017

Fuel Treatment Prioritizaton Process_DT_03062017
John Smith, USFS Santa Barbara Mountain Communities Defense Zone Memo, 21 March 2017

*** ***
San Marcos Pass Community Wildfire Protection Plan
by: Philip Seymour, Esq. 

Counsel to the WRA 

Early last year a small group of mountain residents organized by the Wildland Residents Association and Painted Cave Volunteer Fire Department began working on preparation of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (“CWPP”). After meeting with wildfire experts from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and U.S. Forest Service, and joining an environmental representative from the Urban Creeks Council, mountain representatives began meeting with a County “Working Group” assigned by County government to collaborate in preparing the CWPP. Working with County government can be challenging at times. However, after overcoming some major obstacles, the CWPP process will be going fully public on January 26, 2017. Below is a summary of relevant information about the CWPP process for mountain residents and others interested in participating in the process. [Read more →]

January 24, 2017   Comments Off on CWPP

In Case of Emergency

As residents of the San Marcos Pass community we have learned to be self reliant and sufficient. We frequently depend on our neighbours for a helping hand. However, in the event you see something suspicious, a traffic collision or a fire, please call 9-1-1 directly. There have been several recent incidents where people have called neighbours first. The can cause confusion and further delay emergency response should it be required. It is better to be on the safe side and report something that turns out to be nothing than to not report something real.

March 26, 2013   Comments Off on In Case of Emergency