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Thomas Fire & Flood - How to Help

In December, United Way of Santa Barbara County and United Way of Ventura County established the United Way Thomas Fire Fund. On January 9, 2018, a winter storm made landfall in Santa Barbara County, dropping more than 5 inches of rain on the charred landscape left behind in the wake of the Thomas Fire and causing devastating flash floods and debris flows. To date, 20 fatalities have been confirmed, several more individuals are unaccounted for, and many homes and businesses have been destroyed.

The staff at United Way of Santa Barbara County are deeply saddened by the recent flood and mudslides that have caused such devastation and loss of life in the community we all love. Many of our donors, supporters, family members and friends live and work in Montecito, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria. If you have been directly affected, please know we are with you. The recovery effort will take a long time but we have hope that our strong community will see this through.

United Way of Santa Barbara County and United Way of Ventura County are expanding the established fund to be the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund. In Santa Barbara County, the Fund will serve the long-term needs of Santa Barbara County families and individuals, as well as the short-term needs of Santa Barbara County nonprofit organizations helping evacuated individuals displaced by the Thomas Fire and floods caused by the fire scar.

How to Support Recovery Efforts:


To give online to support the United Way Thomas Fire & Flood Fund (supporting both Ventura County and Santa Barbara County victims), please visit:

To give a gift designated to Santa Barbara County fire and/or flood victims, please click here or text UWSBC to 40403.

For a list of Santa Barbara agencies accepting monetary and/or in-kind donations, please click here.

At this time, no agencies are accepting donations of used goods.


At this time, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and the Salvation Army are accepting volunteers. Contact information can be found here.

You may sign up to volunteer for the Red Cross by following the instructions here:
How to Volunteer - English
Cómo Ser Voluntario - Español

Where to Get Help:

Beginning Wednesday January 17, 2018 the County of Santa Barbara will open a Local Recovery and Assistance Center to serve as a centralized, single point location for essential resources and services to help our community members recover and rebuild from the Thomas Fire and January storm.  The Center will be open January 17 – February 3 at Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara, 1 N Calle Cesar Chavez, in Santa Barbara.  The Center will be open 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Saturday.  The Center will be closed on Sundays.


Photo credit: Matt Udkow, Santa Barbara County Fire Department.