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Crews work to put out hot spots at Loma Fire in Santa Barbara

Posted at 4:54 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-22 01:29:44-04

Firefighters in Santa Barbara are working around-the-clock putting out any hot spots to avoid possible flare-ups after Thursday night's Loma Fire.

While one home was damaged, none were destroyed, but those who live below the hillside said they were terrified.

"We have to get out of here..by all means. we had come from Ventura County, a high fire area, and sorta knew the drill of packing up the valuables in the cars,” said nearby resident Paul Crisman.

Crisman who lives just below the hill where the fire sparked, says he had just gotten home from a trip and saw the smoke that quickly turned into flames within minutes.

He and his family acted fast and evacuated. Shortly after, sheriff's deputies evacuated hundreds of residents from their homes as well.

Nearby residents Arianna and Quentin also saw the flames.

"So we packed a bag just in case and we kept on looking out the window and saying should we go, should we go,” Arianna Runyan said.

On Friday, firefighters from several local agencies worked together to put out hot spots.

"The hand crews are getting in there with the chainsaw and our crews are following up with hose lays and supporting those lines .. They are cutting and we are putting water on it,” said Battalion Chief Jim McCoy with the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

Fire officials say the fire, which burned approximately 10 acres, spread at a high rate. Two homes did suffer some damage but no one was injured.

McCoy says there will be fire watch crews in the area making sure the wind doesn't blow any embers onto unburned fuel.

"This is very visible from Highway 101, so we get a lot of phone calls from people on the highway looking up and seeing a bit of smoke, so we welcome the calls and we will track down any heat source or smoke that we see,” McCoy said.

Evacuations were lifted early Friday morning.

According to fire officials, about 50 homes and other structures were in danger. The fire was 70 percent contained as of Friday afternoon.