Watch CBS News

Homeowners And Crews Try To Get Ahead Of Thomas Fire In Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA) — Jim Welsh did last-minute work on his home in Santa Barbara where a red flag warning will be in effect into Sunday.

He's spent the past week clearing out his gutter in case the Thomas Fire moved in his direction. He has this ladder on standby.

"Just in case I have to get on the roof for some reason," Welch said.

When we compare the fire to Los Angeles – the fire is about the size of the entire L.A. basin. It has burned 256,000 acres, 1,009 structures have been destroyed and is 35 percent contained.

In the past week, fire crews have been driving up and down area streets to get familiar with them.

A number of engines are parked on standby in case anything flares up.

Crews don't want to see a repeat of the Tea Fire that destroyed more than 200 homes in the Montecito and Santa Barbara more than nine years ago.

Dangerous windy conditions are expected overnight Saturday and firefighters are asking people in evacuation zones to simply get out.

"Get out to safety and feel confident that the fire department is here protecting your neighborhood," Capt Paul Holaday, of OCFA, said.

Welch says he has a lot of defensive space around his house which is why it survived a number of fires. But he admits, it's going to be a long night.

"I just set a timer for once an hour. I just get up every hour. Go take a look to see where it's at."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.