A fire erupted shortly before 9 p.m. in the outskirts of Santa Barbara near the KEYT television station which quickly engulfed the area forcing the residents to evacuate immediately.
The KEYT staff broadcasted the fire live outside the building, showcasing how close the flames were to the building and media equipment. The extremely gusty winds made the matter worse as they accelerated the fire to spread to a larger area.
The Santa Barbara fire was encouraged by the harrowing winds which led the embers and flames to spread across the Mesa neighborhood of Santa Barbara as the night progressed. It was hard for the firefighters to extinguish it as the flames spread across 20 acres’ vegetation area of the TV hill. More firefighters and crews were called upon from neighboring counties to quell the fire which was still going strong by 10:30 p.m. as it threatened to engulf the building structures on the lower Westside of the city.
The spokesman of Santa Barbara County Fire Department Mike Eliason stated that it spread at a rapid rate. The fire was pushed ahead by strong winds as it blazed on hills and therefore moved faster. Eliason requested the residents of Via Del Cielo to evacuate the premises quickly, as almost 50 homes and commercial spots were under threat of fire, as the flames damaged one house in the vicinity.
The fire took hold of West Cota street, West Ortega Street, Sutton Avenue, and Coronel place and was moving rapidly towards the Santa Barbara city college.
The director of Santa Barbara County’s Office of Emergency Management Kelly Hubbard directed the evacuees towards Lead Better beach parking lot for overnight housings and other supportive necessities. The American Red Cross was also alerted to serve the sufferers of the fire.
No injuries or casualties were reported from the fire, as the investigation began on how the Santa Barbara fire was sparked? The strong winds of 20 mph to 35 mph fueled the fire to spread to a large area as nearby counties joined in to extinguish the fire.
According to the National Weather Service, the winds are expected to drop down on Friday and the weather will also be drier, aiding the firefighters to quell the fire.
According to the latest reports, the station newsroom of KEYT-TV was burned by the fire which had been timely evacuated. The strength of the fire had died down as it reached the top of the hill.