Structure protection still main priority on Day 8 of Thomas Fire - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Structure protection still main priority on Day 8 of Thomas Fire

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Firefighters continue to protect houses in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria on Tuesday.

Days after flames from the Thomas Fire swept into Santa Barbara County, firefighters continue to focus on structure protection. Dozens of trucks, engines and crew members were staged off Park Lane in Montecito Tuesday, preparing to head into Romero Canyon to protect homes.

"The goal is to keep the fire out of Carpinteria, Montecito, Summerland and Santa Barbara," said Public Information Officer Steve Concialdi.

One of the main challenges crews have faced in this fire is the rugged and steep terrain. "These hand crew firefighters have to cut lines basically using tools, using saws, and they go around the perimeter of the fire and that's when you have that containment," Concialdi said.

Throughout Romero Canyon, crews were staged in streets and driveways keeping a close eye on the fire, making sure there was no direct structural threat.

"The fire's above the homes right now burning in Romero Canyon," Concialdi said.

Flames could be seen approximately 100 feet away from the roadway on Bella Vista Drive. However, the direction of the flames, while moving towards the road, was moving in a favorable direction for crews.

"The fire is slowly burning down the hill but we're allowing that to happen to gain control once it comes down. we have firefighters in place, we have hand crews in place," Concialdi said.

Firefighters said the fire is now covered by 27 helicopters performing water drops and that the flames have covered 27 miles of land so far.

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