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Fire crews working to get residents affected by Thomas Fire back - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Fire crews working to get residents affected by Thomas Fire back home

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While containment on the Thomas Fire continues to grow, many residents are still not allowed back into their homes.

Fire officials say just because the flames have dissipated, this doesn't necessarily mean the danger is gone.

“Some trees may still fall, some limbs may snap, there is a lot of hidden dangers,” said Mike Eliason with Santa Barbara County Fire Department. “Saturday night, this retaining wall was actually bent over into the road due to the big rocks that came down and there were also a lot of rocks on the road.”

Fire crews have been working around the clock to secure the area and say residents will not be allowed back in until the anticipated wind event is over. Hot spots will also be mopped up.

“What they got to do is they physically have to walk out, they are stretching thousands of feet of hose line and they have to go down with basic hand tools and dig around and root that area that’s still smoking and soak it with water to make sure it’s completely dead out,” Eliason added. 

There are also many downed power lines and burned power poles that crews need to replace. Traffic lights at intersections need to be fixed as well.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience, we’ve still have a lot of work to do,” Eliason said. 

Fire officials say they hope to have all these tasks complete by the weekend to allow residents to return home just in time for Christmas.

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