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Volunteers at Arroyo Burro Open Space
Boys Team Charity members clean up Arroyo Burro at the Arroyo Burro Open Space.   
Ash and Water Quality
Ash in Sycamore CreekStorm runoff after forest fires can have direct impacts on our creeks, due to ash, and less direct impacts, due to increased erosion on denuded slopes. Both processes lead to increased concentrations of trace metals such as arsenic, copper, lead, and zinc.
High concentrations of ash in runoff can raise the pH to levels that are harmful to aquatic organisms. Increased erosion leads to high concentrations of sediment and associated nutrients, which are also harmful to aquatic life.
Predicting exact impacts is difficult because concentrations of these pollutants will depend on the storms that follow the fire. Large storms will dilute ash impacts but increase erosion, whereas small storms will create high ash concentrations but limited erosion. The duration of the storms and elevated pollutant levels in creeks also affect the ecological impacts.
The Creeks Division will continue regular creek and ocean water quality monitoring, as well as additional sampling to investigate ash impacts.
Thomas Fire Information
Please visit the City of Santa Barbara's Thomas Fire Information Page for the latest information and updates. 
For timely Thomas Fire info, please follow @SBCity and @CountyOfSB on Twitter, and sign up for emergency alerts at
Free N95 mask distribution continues this week at the following locations (see County of Santa Barbara Public Health press release for additional details):
  • Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave., Mon-Fri 10am-7pm
  • Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Dr., Mon-Thu 8am-5pm, Fri 9am-12pm
  • Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Anapamu St., Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm, Sun 1pm-5pm
  • Carpinteria Public Library, 5141 Carpinteria Ave., Mon/Wed 10am-7:30pm, Tue/Thu/Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-4pm
  • Buellton CVS, 218 East Hwy. 246 (ask staff), Mon-Fri 8am-10pm
PLEASE NOTE clean-up of ash is still not advised, as the fire is still burning and ash will continue to fall. For information on clean-up and health resources, please visit
Holiday Closure December 25 - January 1
The Creeks Division, along with most City administrative offices, will be closed Monday, December 22 through Monday, January 1. 

Offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. 
For more information on the closure, visit
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City of Santa Barbara  •  PO Box 1990  •  Santa Barbara, CA 93102

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