Crews gain control over Santa Barbara fire that triggered evacuations

A firefighter sprays a scorched hillside above Santa Barbara.
Firefighters continue to mop up hot spots and secure containment of the Loma fire in Santa Barbara.
(Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire)

Crews have gained control over a fast-moving vegetation fire that broke out Thursday night in Santa Barbara, forcing evacuations of a television newsroom and the surrounding neighborhood. Evacuation orders were lifted shortly before 1 a.m. Friday.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said the Loma fire was reported at 8:55 p.m. on the hillside between Miramonte Drive and Loma Alta Drive, near the newsroom of KEYT-TV. It was initially reported that the blaze had spread to about 20 acres as of 10 p.m., but GPS mapping later determined the total acreage was under 10 acres.

As daylight began, crews were mopping up hot spots and securing containment lines, Eliason said. Two homes were damaged and none were destroyed. No injuries were reported.


The fire prompted the evacuation of the newsroom and residents in the surrounding neighborhood. The Santa Barbara Police Department posted on Twitter that evacuation orders had been issued from the 900 block of Miramonte Drive to Weldon Road, including Isleta Avenue, Arroyo Avenue and Weldon Road. Evacuations were also issued for Loma Alta Drive between San Andres Street and Weldon Road.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.