Fire retardant trucks help firefighters protect homes from Thoma - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Fire retardant trucks help firefighters protect homes from Thomas Fire

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Crews are working to keep the Thomas Fire from ravaging more neighborhoods in its path.

"I'm happy to report no homes in Montecito were destroyed here. These firefighters worked all night long, we put a fire engine in almost every single home up here," said Capt. Steve Comcialdi, Orange County Fire Department. 

Firefighters spent the morning Wednesday dousing the lingering flames that neared Montecito homes.

"Basically, the fire burned around the homes and our firefighters were able to engage them and knock it down," Capt. Comcialdi said. 

Part of the credit in sparing the homes goes to a truck firefighters call a tactical tool. These trucks can dump 3,000 gallons of fire retardant per load around homes in the path of the blaze.

"The fire burned right down to the fire retardant line. It just goes to show you how effective those Phos-Chek trucks are," Comcialdi said. 

The trucks arrived to assist the Thomas Fire crews on Sunday. 

"A lot of the time, we'll drop fire retardant from the planes but in this area, we have windy roads, large homes, they are able to be more precise in spraying that fire retardant," Comcialdi said. 

But getting to some of these homes in the hills requires a lot of hiking.

With a combination of boots on the ground, eyes in the sky and trucks dumping retardant, firefighters are doing all they can to protect homes in the path of the Thomas Fire.

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