Raising Our Light Event Honors Victims of 1/9 Debris Flow Six Years Later

Montecito Fire Protection District hosts the 6th annual "Raising Our Light" event to honor the victims of the 1/9 Debris Flow (Photo: Montecito Fire)

Community members gathered in Montecito on Tuesday night to honor the victims on the sixth anniversary of the 1/9 Debris Flow.

Following the Thomas Fire, on January 9, 2018, a torrential rainstorm caused a devastating debris flow in Montecito during the late night hours that claimed the lives of 23 people.

Local agencies and nonprofits joined together with the Montecito Fire Department to host the annual “Raising Our Light” event at Montecito Union School at 6:00 p.m.

Organizers led a candle lighting, read the name of each victim with the ring of a bell then a moment of silence with a large beam of blue light shining into the sky.

Blue light as part of the 6th annual “Raising Our Light” event to honor the victims of the 1/9 Debris Flow (Photo: Montecito Fire)

Speakers included Montecito Fire Chief David Neels, Montecito Union School Superintendent Anthony Ranii, County Supervisor Das Williams, and Suzanne Grimmesey with the County’s Community Engagement Department.

“In the face of almost unimaginable adversity, our community came together with unwavering support, compassion, and a collective determination to heal and rebuild,” said Superintendent Ranii.

The 5th anniversary remembrance was cancelled due January storms on this day last year that caused the evacuation of the Montecito Inn and many homes.

In addition to 23 deaths, there were more than 160 injuries, and 462 damaged homes with 65 of them completely destroyed.

Organizers had to cancel last year’s 5th anniversary celebration due to a similar rainstorm that prompted evacuations in the area.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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