Many say that God won’t give you more than you can handle. But dear God, the people of Montecito, California, have had enough.

Not only did the residents of this small California town have to deal with the biggest fire in California history late last year, but they also are finding themselves in the middle of a nightmare once again, as the recent mudslides have claimed countless lives and altered the lives of so many more.

While many country artists call the South home, one country superstar in particular has major ties to this area of California. “I fell in love with #montecito on our honeymoon, [and] I can’t believe what has happened,” Brad Paisley tweeted on Jan. 10. “Tonight I am sad but awestruck by the first responders [and] these people, [and] feel so much love for this amazing little town.” He ended his tweet with the hashtag, “Pray for Montecito.”

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Brad also expressed his sadness last year as the fires tore through many of the same areas. “God be with these firefighters,” Brad posted on his Instagram account on Dec. 16, 2017. “What a brave and chilling sight. #montecito #santabarbara”

“I owe each of you guys a beer when this is all over,” Brad also posted on his Instagram on Dec. 11.

Of course, Brad is just one of many celebrities with ties to the area who have come to their fans with their concerns for the land they love so much.

“One of the things that I want to talk about is you know, we’ve had these terrible fires all over California and one of the hardest hit areas is where I live in Montecito,” talk show host Ellen DeGeneres told her viewers on Jan. 10. “Montecito is a small town, less than 10,000 people. It has two public schools, family owned businesses. It’s a tight-knit community so everyone kind of knows everyone. I work in L.A. but I consider Montecito my home. I live there. Oprah [Winfrey] lives there. It’s not just a wealthy community, it’s filled with a lot of different types of people from all backgrounds, and there are families missing and there are people that are missing family members and people are finding people and bodies. I mean, you hear the word mudslide and you have no idea the impact that it was, but after the biggest fire in California history, it’s catastrophic. It’s beyond recognizable.”

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Many of the people living in the area have been sharing their firsthand accounts of what the area looks like at the moment, and frankly, it is unbelievable. “Unbelievable devastation … this is a drive westbound on Olive Mill [Road] from Hot Springs in #Montecito,” reported NBC correspondent Gadi Schwartz on his Twitter page on Jan. 9 alongside a video. “The lake at the end is the 101. #Ventura”

Everyone here at Rare Country sends our prayers and our love for all those hurting in California.

Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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