Sunday, October 23 , 2016, 4:13 pm | Mostly Cloudy 70º

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Local News

Fire Lights Up Night, Threatens Structures on Santa Barbara’s Westside

Blaze near Loma Alta Drive chars 2-3 acres; cause remains under investigation

A vegetation fire that was visible throughout much of the downtown area Monday night briefly threatened structures on Santa Barbara’s Westside, but firefighters were able to quickly get the upper hand.

Santa Barbara City crews were dispatched at about 5:45 p.m. to the vicinity of Loma Alta Drive and Canon Perdido Street below TV Hill, and were able to knock down the flames fairly quickly, said Acting Fire Chief Pat McElroy.

At least three homes in the area were threatened for a time, according to Battalion Chief Robert Mercado, but the only damage was to some landscaping and exterior features of one home.

The fire, which charred 2-3 acres, lit up the night sky, prompting numerous calls to the city’s dispatch center, McElroy said.

A total of seven fire engines were dispatched to the blaze, including some Santa Barbara County crews under mutual-aid agreements, McElroy said.

The fire was controlled in about 20 minutes, Mercado said, but crews remained on scene well into the night dousing hot spots and making sure the blaze did not rekindle.

No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire remained under investigation, Mercado said.

“It’s definitely an out-of-season type fire,” Mercado said. “It’s a reminder that we can still have fires out there that can challenge residents and firefighters. Fire season ultimately is year-round.”

The TV Hill area historically has seen a lot of small vegetation fires, many caused by transients camping in the area.

But efforts in recent years to clear the brush and install fencing have reduced the number of such incidents, McElroy said.

Although the weather was warm and humidity was low Monday, firefighters were aided by a lack of wind, McElroy said.

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