A USA Today article reports that, Fires, high winds, and rain have culminated to form deadly mudslides that have devastated parts of southern California. The mudslides have leveled homes and several fatalities have been reported.
The Montecito area experienced landslides and mudslides that have swept away houses and trapped individuals among the debris. A total of 15 confirmed deaths have been reported with many others still missing.
The Thomas Fire, the state’s largest on record, left Montecito open to the destruction brought on by the recent heavy rain. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention warned that, “Areas where wildfires or human modification of the land have destroyed vegetation on slopes are particularly vulnerable to landslides during and after heavy rains”.
The fire left over 400 miles of land scarred stripping the hillsides of vegetation, making them more vulnerable to mudslides. Search efforts are continuing today, and local police and fire fighters are telling people to stay away from the area as well as barring access, and telling those who live there to shelter in place if they can.