SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Loma Alta Drive, which sits below a charred hillside scorched by the Loma Fire, will be closed for eight months as crews make repairs and install rails to prevent debris slides.
The closure will be located from Coronel Street to West Canon Perdido Street. It begins on Monday, Oct. 18 and will remain in place through May 2022.
The City of Santa Barbara says K-Rails will be put in place along the roadway to prevent debris slides as the rainy season approaches.
A consultant is working with the city to analyze the impact rain could have on the hillside. The Santa Barbara Public Works Department said in August that a closure of the roadway was likely.
The hill was the main site of the Loma Fire which broke out during the night of May 20.
The fire forced evacuations of homes and businesses, including the NewsChannel 3-12 news station. Our news team was in the middle of producing evening newscasts when they were forced to evacuate. A section of flames came within feet of one our the station's newscast studios.
The fire burned about nine acres and 100% containment was reached the following week.
The Loma Fire is believed to have been started as an act of arson. 23-year-old Victor Hernandez was arrested the night the fire broke out.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of arson.
The City of Santa Barbara Public Works Department plans to host a community meeting to provide residents with information about the planning process and possible storm-related impacts near the Loma Fire burn area. That meeting will be held at McKinley Elementary School on Wednesday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m.