UPDATE 1 – MAY 20, 2021 – 2300 PT

Incident Summary

An out-of-area wildfire is burning in the 600 block of West Ortega Street. This area is known as TV Tower Hill, where many news stations and other vast amounts of buildings reside.

One news station has been evacuated.

Credit: Santa Barbara County PIO Mike Eliason

The fire broke out before 2100 hours PT from an unknown cause.

Both Fire, Police and 911 Dispatch Centers are overwhelmed with calls and heavy traffic volumes, while some areas are impacted by some interfering with fire suppression efforts.

Fire Status

Fire behavior is very active with a high rate of spread, wind-driven and uphill runs. Currently, the fire has destroyed 20 acres and there is a 0% containment status.

Multiple commercial and residential structures are currently threatened. Crews are working tirelessly to save structures.


Mike – E74, 77, 76, County 19, 313, one other engine.

Zulu – B19, 315, 11, 91, 92, Car 52.


Structure Protection Group – 534 – 550, 634 – 630 Miramonte houses. Rigs handling structure protection.

Staging – located at a nearby church.

Command Staff

Safety – B95 assumed Safety (2230 PT)

Fire Prevention Officers 74 and 75.

Incident Command Post – Moved to the McKinley School due to fire encroaching on their post. They were evacuated safely from the area.

Credit: Alert Wildfire (2205PT)

Evacuations for…..

  • Loma Alta Drive and Miramonte Drive
  • 900 block of Miramonte Drive to Weldon Road
  • Isleta Avenue
  • Arroyo Avenue
  • Weldon Road
  • Loma Alta Drive from Andres to Weldon Road

Fire Response

Fire personnel and equipment are en route, on-scene and/or on order.

Incident Cooperators

Santa Barbara (City and County), CAL Fire, San Bernardino City and County Departments. Santa Barbara Police.

Public Health

  • Wear a mask if in the smoke, cloth masks may not work.
  • Stay indoors if you are in a safe place.


More updates will be posted as more information comes to light.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog