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Defensible space inspections on the rise in Santa Barbara after the Loma Fire

Fire Inspection
Scott Sheahen / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Last month the Loma Fire on Santa Barbara’s TV Hill, lit up the night sky. The fire, which is being investigated as arson, scorched 9 acres of hillside and damaged four properties. 

The fire ignited as Santa Barbara City Fire Department encouraged homeowners in high-risk fire areas to make defensible space around their property. Since the Loma Fire, the department has had an increase in requests for free home fire inspections. June 15 is the fire department’s deadline for homeowners to have their defensible space around their homes. The deadline is to prepare homes for high fire season.

David Nelley just moved into Santa Barbara’s foothills. He said he heard stories about the Thomas Fire. Then the Loma Fire was a wake-up call for him and his family. He wanted to make sure his new home is as safe as possible this fire season.

During Nelly’s inspection, Santa Barbara City fire services specialist, Chris Braden, advised he adds a 1/8 inch mesh screen on his vents to prevent embers from flying into his attic and crawl spaces. Otherwise, most of Nelly’s property passed the fire inspection. Tree limbs were higher than six feet off the ground. Brushes and shrubs were spaced apart well. Keeping plants separate slows the spread of fire. And when possible trees and big bushes were more than ten feet from the house.

To schedule a free inspection visit the Santa Barbara City Fire Department’s website.

Lifestyle / Safe at Home / Santa Barbara - South County / Video
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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.

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