Santa Barbara County said the "pre-evacuation advisory" it had already issued for residents of its south coast would remain in effect for the next storm.
"I took my gloves off and I helped dig him out", she said.
Santa Barbara County spent the last five weeks clearing mud and debris from Montecito's creeks and debris basins.
Chains or snow tires were needed on stretches of Interstate 80, US 50 and USA 395.
A rainstorm is expected to bring about a third to two-thirds of an inch of rain an hour, beginning on Thursday afternoon or evening, Santa Barbara County officials said in a statement.
As a outcome, vegetation that helped anchor earth in place was burned from hillsides when torrential rains arrived a month later and sent mud and debris thundering into the town of Montecito.
Minor flooding was reported in communities below recent burn areas, including Montecito, and the National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning for Thomas Fire communities around 3 a.m., which expired at 6:45 a.m.
"We had assessed the area to be safe to open to the public and unfortunately an avalanche did occur after that assessment was made", Hepburn said.
Residents of coastal Southern California neighbourhoods are under evacuation orders ahead of a powerful winter storm sweeping in after bringing heavy snow and whiteout conditions to northern mountains.
A blizzard warning has expired but the National Weather Service says whiteout conditions are still possible around Lake Tahoe where 3 feet of snow (90 centimetres ) already has fallen and winds gusting to almost 150 miles per hour (240 kph) shut down Interstate 80.
Other rainfall totals around the area in hundredths of an inch were 0.30 in Santa Maria, 0.40 in Orcutt, 0.35 in Guadalupe, 0.55 at Twitchell Reservoir, 0.35 in Casmalia, 0.45 in Los Alamos, 0.45 in Buellton, 0.44 in Solvang, 0.31 in Santa Ynez, 0.28 in Los Olivos and 0.20 in Cuyama.
"Because of your cooperation we were able to get through this together", said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
Mud and debris on the Highway 101 on ramp, near Montecito, Santa Barbara, January 2018.
The order encompasses Montecito, where a January 9 storm triggered flash floods that destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes.