California Mudslides Kill 15 in Areas Wrecked by Wildfires

Dozens of homes were destroyed, dozens more were damaged, and the debris area spread over 30 square miles, said Amber Anderson, a Santa Barbara County spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, the Thomas fire that denuded Santa Barbara's hillsides - the largest wildfire in California's recorded history - was finally, on Friday, reported 100 percent contained.

McElroy said even though the impact was technically in Santa Barbara County, "this is a Santa Barbara tragedy".

The sheriff's office also expanded the evacuation zone in the Montecito area on Thursday, as traffic on the already-clogged roads is hindering efforts by rescue and fix crews to access the devastation.

"This means that flooding and debris flows are imminent or occurring in these areas", Santa Barbara County officials announced. They are plowing through the walls of mud, standing on top of homes and using search dogs - hoping to find those who are reported missing.

Bill Horseman said, "I feel lucky 112 olive mill road they came and rescued us at 4 in the morning and here were are". About 7,000 people remained under mandatory evacuation orders.

Nearly the entire community, about 10,000 people, are under a mandatory evacuation order that could last for up to two weeks, Santa Barbara County's fire chief said.

Firefighters rescue a 14-year-old girl trapped inside a destroyed home during heavy rains in Montecito, Calif., Jan. 9, 2018.

The TV host who is being touted as the next US President said: "What a day! Some mud, and minor damage that pales in comparison to what my neighbors are going (through)", she wrote.

Brown did say that of the 17 people he announced were missing Wednesday, some were identified as among the dead and were crossed off the list. "Certainly, although we knew that this was coming ... you couldn't help but be amazed by the intensity of the storm and the result of the mudslide and the water that cascaded down the hills as a result of that".

Winfrey captured footage of nearby flames that were burning due to a gas leak in the midst of a downpour while in another clip, the star showed part of her mud-covered backyard and indicated the depth of the mud by walking through it with rain boots on.

The county set up an evacuation shelter at Santa Barbara City College and also gave residents a place to take their animals.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News.

The fires burned most vegetation, leaving ideal conditions for the latest tragedy to unfold.