MONTECITO (CBSLA) — With less rainfall than expected in burn areas hit by mudslides in January, evacuation orders that were issued for Santa Barbara County overnight Monday were lifted Tuesday morning.

Several Santa Barbara County communities that were scorched in the Thomas, Whittier, Sherpa and Alamo burn areas were under mandatory evacuation orders. However, those evacuation orders were lifted at 10:30 a.m.

Tuesday’s storm is the first of three systems forecast to move through the area over the next week.

The incoming storm also prompted voluntary evacuations for neighborhoods in Matilija Canyon and the North Fork area, north of Ojai in Ventura County. The area’s biggest freeway, Highway 33, was closed earlier this month after burn-scarred hillsides gave way and dumped mud and debris on the road.

Authorities are on standby in strategic areas throughout the county, along with National Guard high-water vehicles and search and rescue teams.

Most of the rain from this storm is expected to fall on Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Los Angeles and Orange counties can expect to see some moisture in the afternoon.

A second storm is expected to hit Friday, but forecast models for this system continues to change, National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Bruno said.


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