Recent Press

LIVE: Thomas Fire Incident Commanders to Lead Town Hall Amid Firefight in Montecito

Fire officials announced at Saturday’s daily briefing that the Thomas Fire had charred 259,000 acres. It was 40 percent contained. At 4 p.m. the fire was near Westmont College, working its way down to Parma Park. “It hasn’t passed Gibraltar Road, but it is definitely headed in that direction,” said Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Peterson. more

‘Worst Day Yet’ on the Thomas Fire as Firefight Continues in Montecito

Today marked the toughest day so far in the battle against the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara County, as the blaze flared up early this morning under heavy, steady, and predicted winds. … As of about 5 p.m. the most active front of the Thomas was above Cold Springs Road and Westmont College. “It’s working its way down toward Parma Park,” Peterson said. “It hasn’t [reached] Gibraltar Road, but it’s headed that way.” more

Thomas Fire Pushes South and West into Montecito Foothills, Triggers Evacuations in Santa Barbara

Sheriff’s deputies are reporting fire around Ashley Road in Montecito, directly south of East Mountain Drive and east of Westmont College. Despite fire burning in that area, throughout the Montecito foothills, and now towards Gilbraltar Road, County Fire spokesperson Dave Zaniboni is reporting that no structures have been lost in this morning’s firefight. “It’s been a true firefight out here today,” Zaniboni said. more

Santa Barbara Mobilizes Buses to Shuttle Eastside Evacuees to Shelters

As the Thomas Fire continues to burn above Westmont College, Spanish-speaking city workers are informing Eastside residents about evacuating warnings in areas east of Salinas Street and north of Highway 101. In the city, 20,000 residents are under mandatory evacuation orders. more

Volatile Winds Whip Thomas Fire Into Burning Frenzy, Putting Firefighters to a Severe Test

At the end of what clearly was a difficult day for firefighters tasked with halting the monstrous Thomas Fire raging in the mountains above Montecito and Santa Barbara, there seemed to be a consensus Saturday night that things could have been a lot worse. … The blustery conditions came up earlier than expected shortly after dawn, driving the flames west and threatening Westmont College and foothills homes in the area of East Mountain Drive. more

Fanned by Gusty Downslope Winds, Thomas Fire Roars to the West

Fanned by gusty north winds, the Thomas Fire was challenging firefighters in multiple places on Saturday afternoon, and continuing its march to the west. … County Fire Chief Eric Peterson said Saturday afternoon that the fire made a significant run west and was burning above Westmont College and into Parma Park that afternoon. more

Thomas Fire Friday Morning Update: Slow Growth Overnight but Bad Winds on the Way

Considering the low humidity and the terrain in the hills above Montecito — steep, craggy, and loaded with boulders and thick chaparral — the fact that firefighters, both on the ground and in the air, have been on the offensive against the Thomas Fire the past couple days is just shy of miraculous. … Major staging areas at Westmont College, Manning Park, and the polo fields east of Summerland have been busy with engines and crews regrouping for rest, sustenance, and updated attack plans for their next shift in the mountains. more

Westmont Women Lose on Last-Second Shot

A three-point shot by Sierra Bignell with 1.6 seconds remaining on the game clock resulted in NAIA No. 12-ranked Montana Western (9-3) posting a 49-46 win over No. 11 Westmont Women’s Basketball (6-4). more

Westmont’s Jackie Lopez Named 2nd-Team NAIA Soccer All-American

Westmont senior midfielder Jackie Lopez of Santa Barbara has been named a second-team NAIA Women’s Soccer All-American, while senior defender Alanna Richards of Oceanside and senior midfielder Destinee Adams of Rancho Cucamonga received honorable mention All-American recognition. more

In Memoriam: Silvio Dante DiLoreto, 1925-2017 Santa Barbara Businessperson, Mentor, Philanthropist

Silvio Dante DiLoreto died peacefully in the company of family on March 17, 2017, at age 91. He had been an active member of the Santa Barbara community for 61 years. … He also worked with the March of Dimes, Project Concern, and Direct Relief International. He supported the Community Prayer Breakfast, SBCC Culinary Arts, S.B.Scholarship Foundation, Westmont College, Museum of Natural History, S.B. Maritime Museum (where he was a docent), Cottage Hospital, Sansum, Prime Time Band, American Institute of Food and Wine, and Alpha Resource Center. more

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