Firefighters shut down Loma fire threatening TV news station, Santa Barbara homes; Evacuations lifted – CBS Los Angeles

SANTA BARBARA (CBSA) — Firefighters contained a fast-moving brush fire that threatened a television station and forced the evacuation of dozens of homes in Santa Barbara Thursday night.

May 20, 2021. (KEYT-TV)

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The Loma Fire had burned 10 acres and was 50% contained by early Friday morning, according to the Santa Barbara Fire Department. Evacuation orders have been lifted and the spread of the fire has been halted.

At least one house and an outbuilding were damaged.

The Loma Fire started before 8:50 p.m. on steep terrain near the 600 block of West Ortega Street. The flames were visible from downtown Santa Barbara.

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Within about 30 minutes, the wind-driven blaze had scorched the same hill on which sits the headquarters of KEYT-TV, the Santa Barbara affiliate of CBS and ABC CBS, as well as hundreds of homes. Winds were blowing up to 50 miles per hour, according to firefighters.

Around 50 homes were threatened at the height of the blaze, SBCFD reported. A large house in Via del Cielo was damaged, with embers entering the kitchen of the house, firefighters said.

Residents of dozens of homes were evacuated. KEYT’s Ryan Fish tweeted that TV crews were also safely evacuated.

Evacuees were directed to Ledbetter Beach. However, shortly after midnight on Friday, crews brought the blaze under control and by 12:30 p.m. evacuations were lifted and residents were allowed to return to their homes.

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No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.