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Montecito Officials Search for Where to Dump Thousands of Tons of Mud

For days, crews have filled dozens of dump trucks with tangled metal, tire tread, mud and tree branches they cleared from the mudslide wreckage in Montecito.

Crews continue to clear mud and debris from the 101 Freeway near Olive Mill Road. Officials said they hoped to have the freeway opened by next Monday. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Crews continue to clear mud and debris from the 101 Freeway near Olive Mill Road. Officials said they hoped to have the freeway opened by next Monday. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

This week they discarded at least 3,500 tons — or about 7 million pounds — of the muck at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, where it will be stored temporarily until crews can sort through it.

But with the total haul increasing by the hour, officials are facing a daunting challenge: where to dump thousands of tons of debris.

“There’s a lot of debris out there,” said Brad Bihun, a spokesman for the multi-agency response to last week’s mudflows that killed at least 20 people and destroyed more than 100 homes. One debris basin alone has an estimated 100,000 cubic yards of muck that needs to be removed, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.