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Crime

Santa Barbara man charged with arson following Loma Fire investigation

Victor Hernandez was arrested at the scene of the Loma Fire for arson.
Santa Barbara Police Department
Victor Hernandez was arrested at the scene of the Loma Fire for arson.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley reported Tuesday that charges have been filed against the 23-year-old Santa Barbara man arrested in connection to starting the Loma Fire.

Victor Angel Hernandez is being charged with three felony counts and two misdemeanor counts, including arson of an inhabited structure, attempted arson and reckless burning.

These charges are all connected with the nine-acre Loma Fire that started Thursday night near Loma Alta Drive on TV Hill.

The fire spread quickly up the hillside due to high winds and damaged three properties, including fencing around KEYT's station.

The fire was not considered fully contained until Monday afternoon. Loma Alta Drive below the hill still remains closed due to rolling debris.

The district attorney's office said Hernandez is believed to have started the Loma Fire. He was found hiding in brush near the fire early Friday morning around 12 a.m. and arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs.

He was arraigned in Department 8 on Tuesday where he pled not guilty to all charges and denied all special allegations.

The case is set for a preliminary hearing in Santa Barbara Superior Court at 8:30 a.m. on June 2 in Department 6.

Fire / Santa Barbara - South County
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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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