A debris flow Southern California’s Montecito community in 2018.
A team of U.S. Geological Survey geologists join county, state, and federal partners to survey and evaluate the aftermath of a debris flow Southern California’s Montecito community in 2018.


How to check if you’re at risk of debris flow: County revises evacuation map

The winter rainy season so far hasn’t produced conditions that might spark any massive movement of earth in the Santa Cruz mountains, but county officials are still keeping close watch on where potential debris flows might strike.

To that end, the county has updated its searchable online debris flow fire evacuation zone maps.

“The update is based on mapping refinements and a reassessment of risk levels, including whether residents are likely to lose access to homes during a debris flow event,” according to a county news release. You can check if you live in a hazard zone in the map below:

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The map allows you to simply enter your address and see if you fall in an evacuation path. If so, it offers details about the evacuation route.

Debris flows, often referred to as “mudslides on steriods,” can strike in hilly areas in which ground conditions have been affected by large fires, such as last year’s CZU Lighting Complex fires.

Heavy rainfall in those areas can cause large mudflows carrying with them trees boulders and more.

Regardless of whether their homes are at risk of a debris flow, all county residents can sign up for general emergency alerts. Visit https://www.scr911.org/general/page/codered or text “SCR911” to 99411 to sign up.