Oprah Winfrey Films Herself Wading Through Mudslide at Montecito Mansion

Image Montecito

Areas that have been charred by wildfires pose a risk of flash flooding and mudslides as a heavy band of rain moves over Santa Barbara County.

The death toll grew after searchers discovered two more bodies Wednesday in the hard-hit enclave of Montecito, Santa Barbara County officials said.

Mud and debris gather outside the Montecito Inn along Olive Mill Road in Montecito after a major storm hit the burn area January 9, 2018 in Montecito, California. Southern California, which just endured the largest wildfire in state history, is being bombarded by flooding and destructive mudslides triggered by torrential downpours.

The mudslide was exacerbated by heavy downpours sending mud and boulders down hills stripped of vegetation by a huge wildfire that swept the state in December. And it doesn't take very much rain for that to happen.

But as the images below show, the mudslides left the length of the street uncrossable and covered in mud and water.

Here are some of the scenes of the harrowing damage caused by mudslides throughout the area.

A mud-caked 14-year-old girl was among the dozens rescued on the ground Tuesday. Officials said numerous deaths are believed to be in the coastal Montecito area, where mudflows and floodwater have inundated areas downstream from where the Thomas Fire burned thousands of acres last month.

"This entire area is a very active rescue and recovery and fix zone right now", he said.

DeGeneres is also a resident of the town, which was hit by the worst fires in California history at the end of a year ago. But only an estimated 10 to 15 per cent of people in a mandatory evacuation area of Santa Barbara County heeded the warning, authorities said.

The sheriff told reporters all of the victims were from Montecito. The rate of rainfall in Southern California Tuesday was 18 times more than required to produce debris flow, according to an analysis by ABC News meteorologists.

Sarah Ettman's home was undamaged, and her section of town still had gas and electricity, even though nearby Romero Creek was choked with cars, trees and rocks.

"If you tell everyone to get out, everyone get out, the next time people won't listen", Jeff Gater, Santa Barbara County's emergency manager, said Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Mud blocked Highway 101 along the Pacific Coast, and search and rescue teams are working their way to about 300 people trapped in their neighborhood in Montecito where the roads are inaccessible, according to Brown.

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