Thousands Evacuated From California Wildfire Areas Amid Flash Flood Fears

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The rain is of greatest concern in areas burned in the massive Thomas Fire, where officials said mudslides are possible.

A voluntary evacuation warning was issued for all areas south of Highway 192 to the ocean and east of Hot Springs Road/Olive Mill Road to Highway 150/county line, Santa Barbara County officials said.

The very powerful storm moving into the area is resulting in not only predictions for heavy precipitation, but also strong winds. Also included in this Order are the areas along Tecolote Canyon, Eagle Canyon, Dos Pueblos Canyon, Gato Canyon, and the Whittier burn areas near Goleta.

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People fill sandbags to prep homes for rain storm that could bring flooding, debris flows to burn areas.

The blazes levelled entire neighbourhoods, killing 44 people and destroying more than 8,900 homes and other buildings.

The declaration of a local emergency will enable the County to utilize all resources necessary to respond to damage that will likely be caused by these storms and to receive any needed funding through the California Disaster Assistance Act and any other State and Federal funding that may be available.

The extremely dry conditions and high winds past year led to some of the most destructive blazes at both ends of the state.

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The National Weather Service said up to six inches of rain could fall starting Monday in parts of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, where the Thomas fire has burned for more than a month, scorching more than 440 square miles of trees and brush.

Nearly four inches of rain is expected in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties from Monday evening through Tuesday morning.

About an inch of rain is forecast for central Los Angeles, the most in almost a year.

It said travellers should prepare for hard travel conditions, including gusty winds, low visibility and slick and snow-covered roads.

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