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Evacuation Orders Over Mudslide Concerns Lifted in Santa Barbara County

Montecito Creek swelled to a fast-moving river amid a powerful winter storm on Jan. 17, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

Montecito Creek swelled to a fast-moving river amid a powerful winter storm on Jan. 17, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

Residents who were ordered to evacuate over fear of mudslides in Santa Barbara County are being allowed to return home.

The sheriff’s office lifted evacuation orders Sunday morning after the National Weather Service advised that heavy rain predicted for areas near three wildfire burn scars didn’t materialize.

Evacuations were ordered or recommended on Friday for neighborhoods near the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa fire scars.

Authorities said showers were expected through Tuesday, but the rain wasn’t expected to be heavy enough to cause debris flows.

More than a year ago, a downpour on the huge Thomas Fire burn scar unleashed a massive debris flow destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes in the seaside community of Montecito. The disaster killed 21 people and two others have never been found.

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