Thomas Fire flares up in hills off Gibraltar Road

Flare-up burned within containment lines

Thomas fire flare up worries residents in Santa Barbara and Montecito. (KEYT photo)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A small Thomas fire flare-up in the hills off of the 2900 block of Gibraltar Road caused some concern among residents of Santa Barbara Friday morning.

It was a location that was difficult for ground crews to reach, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, so they opted to use helicopter drops to quickly gain control of the fire.

The flare-up was not a threat to any structures as it burned within the containment lines.

Officials believe there was something in the area that was smoldering and caught unburned fuel, such as brush, on fire and just the slightest of winds could have fanned the flames.The smoke began to pick up at about 7 a.m. but as of 9:30 a.m., that fire was under control.

Firefighters had two hand crews on scene as well as two helicopters making water drops.

Thomas Fire Public Information Officer Jim Mackensen said crews will remain in the area for days to look for hot spots, or signs of smoke and respond immediately if it is a threat to the public.  Some of the "smokers" however are well inside the fire perimeter and are not a threat.

The fire crews are based at the Ventura County Fairgrounds until Saturday when they will relocate to the U.S. Forest Service Los Padres property on Paradise Road in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Signs of smoke in the local hills can be expected off an on depending on any lingering fire that has not been put out, the weather, and the fuel where the flames are burning.

Thomas fire updates can be found at: www.keyt.com 

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