cal coast news

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

The fast moving Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County Saturday left about 80 kids and staff trapped at a Santa Ynez Valley camp, but they are reported to be safe with firefighters on hand to protect them.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department Captain Dave Zaniboni says as plans were made to evacuate the Circle V ranch south of Highway 154, near Lake Cachuma they discovered the fire was on both sides of the highway. They decided to have people at the camp shelter in place, with a contingent of Los Padres National Forest firefighters on hand to insure their safety.

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

Firefighters on the Central Coast have their hands full with two major brush fires burning in Santa Barbara County, both which have forced evacuations.

What's called the Whittier Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. Saturday off of Highway 154 in the Santa Ynez Valley, about 12 miles east of Solvang.  The 500 plus acre fire has prompted mandatory evacuations at Lake Cachuma, and for the area from Armour Ranch Road to Paradise Road.  There's an evacuation warning in place from Paradise Road to the top of San Marcos Pass. 

Some structures have been reported destroyed at Camp Whittier, just south of Highway 154, near the area where the fire started.  Highway 154 is closed from Highway 246 to Santa Barbara.

Meanwhile, the Alamo Fire northeast of Santa Maria has grown to 19,000 acres burned. 

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

A brush fire burning in two counties on the Central Coast has nearly doubled in size overnight to 6,000 acres.

Cal Fire officials say more than 1,000 firefighters are battling the Alamo Fire, which is located around the Santa Barbara County-San Luis Obispo County line near Highway 166 and Twitchell Reservoir. Five helicopters are dropping water and four fixed-wing aircraft are dropping retardent in an effort to contain the fire.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara)

A brush fire burning in two counties on the Central Coast has grown to more than 3,000 acres in size.

The Alamo Fire is burning around the Santa Barbara County-San Luis Obispo County line close to Twitchell Reservoir.

It's the last thing you'd expect to find in a quiet Ventura County neighborhood.  What amounted to a private zoo had venomous snakes, alligators, and other reptiles in a residential area of Thousand Oaks.

It was a staggering discovery. Authorities say a man had a huge reptile collection at his Rancho Lane home, and more at an isolated facility outside of the city. They found, and seized about 80 venomous snakes at the home, along with the alligators and other animals.

It’s a small, triangular patch of ground behind a wrought iron fence off of Pleasant Valley Road, in Oxnard.

Tens of thousands of people pass by it daily, not realizing they are literally within feet of Ventura County’s history. It’s a more than century old Japanese cemetery, the final resting place for 200 people who were mostly immigrants in the late 1800’s, and early 1900’s.

But, the community is reeling after learning that this sacred spot was desecrated by a man believed to be under the influence of alcohol, or drugs who knocked down a number of grave markers, and tombstones.

(Ventura County Fire Department Photo)

Fire investigators say a brush fire which blackened about 50 acres of land in Ventura County is now fully contained.

Three spot blazes were reported at about 2:45 Tuesday afternoon on the north side of Highway 101 near Camarillo Springs. They grew into one fire, which was named the Grade Incident. Firefighters aided by helicopters helped slow the spread of the fire, which put up a huge cloud of smoke.

The growth of the fire was stopped in about 90 minutes, but firefighters were on the scene overnight doing mopup work. It was fully contained just after three p.m. Wednesday.

(Oxnard Fire Department Photo)

It’s the last type of vehicle you’d think someone would steal.

But, over the holiday weekend, someone stole an Oxnard Fire Department equipment truck, and drove it to San Francisco where it was found abandoned. It wasn’t a fire engine, but a pickup used to move equipment.

Still, it was painted red, marked with Oxnard Fire Department signs, and had an emergency light bar on its cab. Oxnard police say the truck was taken sometime Sunday night, or early Monday morning from a fenced in storage area at the city’s K Street fire station.

This could be a big summer for a more than three year old effort to create a new museum in Ventura County, one focused on educating kids.

KidSTREAM Children’s Museum of Ventura County is a non-profit group trying to create a museum which will use fun activities and exhibits to get kids interested in subjects like science, and math.

Ventura County firefighters have the upper hand on a 50 acre plus brush fire off of Highway 101 between Thousand Oaks and Camarillo.

A series of spot blazes were reported at about 2:45 Tuesday afternoon on the north side of Highway 101 near Camarillo Springs. They grew into one fire, called the Grade Incident. Firefighters aided by helicopters worked to quickly confine the fire, which put up a huge cloud of smoke.

One of the Central Coast’s leading performing arts organizations has announced the lineup for its 2017-2018 season, with productions ranging from a classic Arthur Miller play to a pair of Disney musicals.

The PCPA-Pacific Conservatory Theater will kick off its new season with Disney’s “Freaky Friday,” which will run November 9th through December 23rd at Santa Maria’s Marian Theater. It will be followed by the drama “The Crucible,” the Arthur Miller play set in the 1600’s which was a social parable about the witch hunt for communists in America in the 1950’s.

The father of a missing five year old boy whose body was found in Santa Barbara County entered a not guilty plea to a murder charge.

Aramazd Andressian Sr. made his first court appearance Monday in an Alhambra courtroom. Aramazd Andressian Jr. was last seen alive on April 21st, when his father took him to Disneyland.

His father then was found passed out in his car the following day in a park near the Rose Bowl, without the South Pasadena boy.

Photo by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

A body has been found in Santa Barbara County that authorities say is that of a five-year-old boy who’s been missing since April and whose father is charged with his murder.

The search for Aramazd Andressian Jr. continued on Friday.

“Based on additional leads developed in the Andressian case, Homicide detectives returned to the Lake Cachuma area of Santa Barbara County in an effort to locate additional evidence,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy Guillermina Saldana.

Tucked away on the Santa Ynez Mountains is a dam, and reservoir that’s been a key water source for a South Coast city for nearly a century, but one that’s now in trouble.

Gibraltar Dam was built in the early 1900’s, and has annually supplied about a third of the City of Santa Barbara’s water supply. Cathy Taylor, who’s is the City of Santa Barbara’s Water System Manager, says while Gibraltar has been hard hit by the drought, like other waterways in the region, it’s facing another big problem.

(National Park Service photo)

A unique program which is making the Santa Barbara Channel’s environment cleaner for humans, and safer for marine life is returning for the third time, and expanding to Northern California.

A coalition of agencies ranging from air pollution control districts in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is again offering a cash incentive program for cargo ships to slow down in the channel.

A just released study shows that the arts do more than bring culture to our lives, but also bring a local and national boost to the economy.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Study shows that in Santa Barbara County, the arts generate nearly $200 million dollars in total annual economic activity, including more than 5800 jobs. The report shows that the arts are a big economic driver, creating jobs, tourism, and spending.

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission was one of 250 groups nationwide taking part in the study.

A museum in Santa Barbara County brings together an interesting combination of elements: art, and nature.

On a nice summer morning in Solvang, tourists are everywhere, sampling the unique, more than century old Danish themed community. But, off of Mission Drive in the heart of the city, there’s a museum which helps highlight another part of the region’s heritage.

A 30 second sellout of nearly 15,000 seats to a Central Coast concert by one of country music’s biggest stars has led to the announcement of a an unusual, second late night event.

Last week, tickets for the July 27th Garth Brooks concert at the Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles sold out moments after they went on sale. On Twitter, and in a video Brooks said he was so overwhelmed by the response that something had to be done for fans.

It’s been a long road for a man who grew up as the son of a farmworker in Ventura County to become a Santa Barbara County Supervisor, and now, a member of Congress.

Making the jump from local to national politics is always a big one, but there’s no question it’s been a particularly different one for Democrat Salud Carbajal.

The 24th District Congressman took office in January, starting at the same time as the new Trump Administration.

Carbajal sat down with KCLU's Lance Orozco in his Washington, D.C. office to talk about issues ranging from healthcare and the environment to the climate right now on Capitol Hill.

(SpaceX photo)

A rocket successfully launched ten small satellites into orbit from Santa Barbara County, completing a big weekend for the company behind the launch.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:25 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets went on sale Friday for a Central Coast appearance for perhaps the biggest name in modern country music, and sold out in 30 seconds.

Garth Brooks is set to play at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles July 27th, with the nearly 15,000 tickets gone in moments. Brooks was overwhelmed by the fan response to his concern, and on Twitter said “Wow-30 seconds. Are you kidding me? That means I owe you another one!”

A new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report says there are major problems with the radio system used by the County Sheriff’s Department, ones which could create public safety issues.

The report says there are a number of dead spots in both the North and South County, and a special trouble area is the Cuyama Valley.

They were among those who put their lives on the line for American more than seven decades ago.

Now, a historian from the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans is in Ventura County this week to document their stories.

He’s a tiny little guy, just years old, but the Newbury Park boy has already spent more time in hospitals than most of us well in our lifetimes.

Three months ago, Pierce Kelly was your average little preschooler, full of enough energy to keep his mother Aubrey and father Tyler more than busy. All that changed in March, when Kelly became sick. Pierce had leukemia.

Santa Barbara County’s agricultural industry remained healthy in the last year, even though it took a slight hit overall in total production.

Agriculture remained as Santa Barbara County’s top major producing industry in 2016, with an overall value of $1.4 billion dollars. But, that’s a drop of 3.7%, or $52 million dollars from 2015.

(NASA Photo)

America’s efforts to explore space over the last six decades captured the nation’s imagination. It’s history which is still being written.

A Ventura County man is helping to write it, as a historian with the Smithsonian Institution.

It doesn’t sound like a major crime. Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives arrested three men on grand theft charges related to the theft, and sale of avocados.

But, investigators say the three Ventura County man who worked for a produce company were stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of avocados from a ripening facility near Camarillo, and selling them.

A team of researchers has solved a huge mystery off the Santa Barbara County coastline that began a century ago, discovering the wreckage of a ship which sank in 1917.

Santa Barbara County has adopted a $1.08 billion dollar budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes some major service cuts.

The balanced budget includes a reduction of 178 full time positions, although a number of the jobs were unfilled. With social service costs exceeding available state and federal funding, those programs are among those facing the biggest cuts.

County officials say despite the social service reductions, the county is devoting a larger chunk of its discretionary spending to those programs.

An annual report card on water quality at South Coast beaches is giving high marks to more than 50 beaches throughout the region.

“Heal The Bay” issued its annual grades for more than 400 California beaches. 40 beaches monitored in Ventura County, and 17 in Santa Barbara County all received A’s.

There were problems with some beaches further south, in Los Angeles County, with high bacteria counts. The report notes that heavy rainfall this year swept more contaminants into the ocean, creating a problem.