Lance Orozco

News Director

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, developing the station's local news coverage as it transitioned to a news/talk format. He has provided award-winning local coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, from brush fires and mudslides to Ronald Reagan's funeral. 

Lance has won more than 200 journalism awards for KCLU, including more than 90 Golden Mikes, 20-plus regional Edward R. Murrow awards, a national Edward R. Murrow Award (an honor which came to David Letterman’s attention on “The Late Show.”), and a national Society Of Professional Journalists Award  He has been AP's small market reporter of the year in the western U.S. nine times. 

Lance is a familiar face in the region, having worked nearly two decades as a television reporter and weathercaster in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. His adventures included an unexpected guest appearance on "Late Night With David Letterman."

You can reach Lance here.

(Los Padres National Forest photo)

Containment continues to move forward on the massive Thomas brush fire, which is still burning in backcountry areas.

Firefighters say despite temperatures 10-20 degrees above normal, efforts to fully corral the fire are going well. The amount of acreage burned has hovered at just under 282,000 acres for the last few days. Containment is now at 92%.

Firefighters continue their efforts to close in on full containment of the massive Thomas brush fire.

The blaze is now at 91% containment, and still stands at around 281,000 acres burned in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The focus remains on some rugged, back country areas on the northeast corner of the fire.

(Ventura Ciunty Fire photo)

Firefighters say efforts to contain the massive Thomas brush fire continue to go well, with no additional forward progress of the fire expected.

Containment is up to 89%, with 281,000 acres burned. The little remaining active fire continues to be in back country areas. There are a few hot spots on the northeast corner of the fire, in the Bear Haven area.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters say the efforts to get full containment of the massive Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties are going well, with the only mildly active flames in a wilderness area miles from communities.

Containment is up to 88% on the 281,000 acre blaze.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters say they have been building on previous gains, and have reached 86% containment on the massive Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

Firefighters are continuing efforts on Christmas Eve to try to get full containment of the 273,000 acre Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

Containment is at 70%.  U.S. Forest Service officials had reported containment at 78% yesterday, but they say that was a mistake, and the number was actually 70%.

Firefighters say they've made big progress towards total containment of the massive Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Containment hit 70% Saturday night on the fire, which began December 4th.  The fire has burned 273,400 acres.  On Friday, it became the largest fire in modern California history, surpassing the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County.

The destructive Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties is now the largest in the state’s history.

The fire reached 273,400 acres Saturday, eclipsing San Diego’s Cedar fire in 2003 as California’s largest blaze. The blaze remains at 65% contained. Full containment isn’t expected until January 7th.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

It was a spectacular launch from the Central Coast which lit up the Southern California skies.

The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying communication satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base just before 5:30 Friday night created a huge buzz on social media. It created a gigantic streak in the sky which could be seen for hundreds of miles.

A South Coast man has been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the hit and run death of a pedestrian trying to cross a street.

Prosecutors say Joseph Cantrell was driving at more than twice the legal alcohol limit in August of 2015 when he killed Randall Lee Fillmore. Investigators say the 31 year old man ran a red light on Ponderosa Drive in Camarillo, and didn’t even slow down as he struck and killed Fillmore. Cantrell fled the scene, but was captured when he struck a parked car and onlookers grabbed him.

Firefighters are continuing to work towards total containment of the massive Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

All mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted, and containment is up to 65% to the 272,000 acre blaze.

With firefighters continuing to make progress against the Thomas Fire, plans have been announced to shut down the main local assistance center for the public.

Ventura County and the City of Ventura opened the center December 13th at Ventura’s Poinsettia Pavilion. It will permanently close at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Thomas Fire has taken a tough human toll.  It's left two people dead, destroyed several hundred homes, and displaced tens of thousands of people, some for weeks.

It’s also hit Ventura and Santa Barbara's economies.  Evacuations, power outages, and smoke impacted hundreds of businesses on the South Coast during what’s supposed to be one of their busiest times of the year.

While a number of businesses in communities like Ventura, Ojai, Santa Paula, Carpinteria, Montecito, and Santa Barbara  have been hurt, they are trying to get the word out that their doors are open again for business.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters have good news about efforts to stop the massive Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

There was big concern about the potential for strong sundowner winds Wednesday night and early Thursday morning kicking up embers from the blaze in Santa Barbara’s foothills. More than 150 fire engines and 38 strike teams were deployed to watch for spot fires. No serious problems were reported, and at 9 Thursday morning, all remaining evacuation orders in Santa Barbara County were lifted.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters have geared up for the potential for strong wind Wednesday night, and Thursday in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties which could impact the Thomas Fire.

The 272,000 acre fire is now 60% contained. A weak cold front created cooler, breezy conditions Wednesday.

A new report by economists at a South Coast university says the just approved Republican tax bill will increase economic growth.

Economists with California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting say they see more improvement in the U.S. economy than had been previously projected. They are anticipating average growth of 2.2% over the next eight quarters.

Even as firefighters work to get control of the massive Thomas brush fire, thousands of people in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are struggling to cope with the physical and emotional impacts of the inferno.

From lost homes, to ongoing evacuations, and the trauma of having to flee from the inferno, there are lots of stories coming from the flames.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters say they’ve had another good day in efforts to get a handle on the massive Thomas fire, with containment up to 55%. There are no new threats to communities in the region from the 272,000 acre blaze.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters say they are continuing to make progress in efforts to contain the massive 271,000 acre Thomas brush fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

Containment is at 50%. Firefighters are calling it another good day in efforts to get a handle of the Thomas fire. There are no new threats to communities in the region.

A South Coast gas station that’s normally busy anyway because it’s right off Highway 101 has been serving double duty as an informal information kiosk on the Thomas fire.

On any given day, Risdon’s 76 gas station in Carpinteria is so busy that they put employees near the pumps to direct traffic. Now, though, customers often have more than filling up on their mind.  They want to know about everything from road closures to status of the Thomas Fire.

Ventura County is setting up a new Fire Recovery Information Center in the Santa Clara River Valley.

The center will be in a trailer in Santa Paula’s Steckel Park, and will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

People will be able to get information for permits on debris removal applications for public assistance, and help in finding housing. There will also be health officials on hand some people can get information on concerns about everything from PTSD from the blaze to impacts from smoke.

Firefighters say they appreciate the way people have been trying to show their support for their work fighting the Thomas Fire. But, they say despite the temptation to bake cookies, or a cake for the crews, don’t do it.

Officials say they don’t have the infrastructure to accept food, or other types of donations. And, they say health and safety regulation restrict the sources of food.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters continue to make progress towards containment of the huge Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, using some back burns to try to fight fire with fire.

The fire has burned 271,000 acres, and is 50% contained.

It’s one of the busiest times of year for mail, so what’s happening to it in Thomas Fire evacuation zones?

The Montecito Post Office is in a mandatory  evacuation zone, and remains closed. But, the mail is being taken to another post office temporarily. Montecito residents with their ID can pick up their mail at the post office on Milpas Street.

The Summerland Post office was closed over the weekend, but it has since reopened. The Post Office is making deliveries in areas which are accessible, but that excludes mandatory evacuation zones.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters are taking advantage of improved wind conditionsc to continue to make progress towards containment of the huge Thomas brush fire.  The fire has burned 270,000 acres, and is 45% contained.

With a lull in the wind Monday, plans to use backfires to stop the spread of the inferno were implemented.

The massive Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties is poised to become the largest in the state's history.

At midday Monday, the fire was 270,500 acres, and 45% contained.  The 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County is the largest, at 273,000 acres according to Cal Fire officials.  The Thomas fire could be pushed to largest by a series of intentional burns off of Highway 33 about 10 miles north of Ojai.  With wind calm, the plan is to burn off more than 10,000 acres of land to remove fuel from the fire, and to help stop its growth.

(Santa Barbara Zoo photo)

Tens of thousands of people faced the difficult task of deciding what they would take with them when they were evacuated as the Thomas brush fire threatened their homes.

But, what would you do if you were responsible for hundreds of animals? The Santa Barbara Zoo had to implement evacuation plans staff members thought they’d never have to use.

Thousands of people lined freeway overpasses to honor the firefighter who gave his life in the battle against the Thomas brush fire.

A motorcade from Ventura County to San Diego took Cal FIRE engineer Cory Iverson home for the final time.

Iverson died last week when he was overcome by the blaze during a flareup northwest of Fillmore.

A shift in the weather has given firefighters in Southern Santa Barbara a break, but created new concerns for crews battling the Thomas fire in Ventura County.

The sundowner winds eased as predicted Saturday night in the foothills about the Santa Barbara area, giving teams a break after a day long firefight, with hot embers starting fires around a number of homes.  The weather pattern shifted leading to Santa Ana winds in Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties on Sunday.

The weather is once again expected to be the key element in efforts to control the massive Thomas brushfire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

The wind which caused major flareups Saturday on the west end of the fire in Santa Barbara County has eased, but Santa Ana winds are in the forecast for Ventura County for Sunday.

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