Weather-beaten California Faces More Mudslides

Leah Hickman | Contributor to | Friday, March 2, 2018

Weather-beaten California Faces More Mudslides

Authorities have ordered mandatory evacuations for residents of southern California counties due to risk of mudslides. This is the same area of California that was destroyed by wildfires in December and mudslides in January. The evacuations will displace over 25,000 people who call the area their home.

This area of southern California is particularly vulnerable to mudslides due to the Thomas Fire that wiped out over 280,000 acres of California land in December. It was the “largest wildfire in California history,” as Independent reports. With less vegetation and fewer structures to hold the soil in place, the fire-swept earth is particularly vulnerable to heavy rainfall and can easily turn into dangerous mudslides.

Officials considered this evacuation warranted for areas affected by the December wildfires once forecasters predicted that “a gathering storm would dump an inch or more of rain across the Los Angeles area.” This is the first significant storm to hit the area since January’s disasters.

In the Independent article, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff explains, “[W]e do not take evacuations lightly. We are issuing this mandatory evacuation order because there is a risk to life and property.”

The order doesn’t seem out of line, especially after the death of 17 people in January’s mudslides. As the sheriff indicates later in the article, authorities want to avoid “tak[ing] any unnecessary chances” this time by leaving people in harm’s way.


Leah Hickman is a 2017 graduate of Hillsdale College’s English program. She freelances for and has written pieces for multiple Hillsdale College campus publications as well as for and the Discover Laura Blog. Read more by Leah at

Photo courtesy: Getty Images

Publication date: March 2, 2018

Weather-beaten California Faces More Mudslides