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Thomas Fire Evacuee Optimistic About Efforts To Save Homes

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department_
The Thomas fire burns a pocket of brush near Bella Vista Drive in the Montecito area Wednesday afternoon

It’s been a long week for tens of thousands of Carpenteria, Summerland, Montecito, and Santa Barbara residents who’ve been evacuated as a result of the Thomas brush fire.

Some of the evacuees have been flocking to a an overlook in Summerland to get a birds-eye view of the fire. Steve Polis is standing on the bluff with a friend, watching the fire in the hills above Summerland and Montecito.

Polis is one of the tens of thousands of evacuees. He’s lived on East Valley Road in Summerland for 50 years, and has made it through a number of major fires.

Polis says the fuel in their nearby mountains has been building up for years. He says with the blaze apparently burning past Summerland and Montecito, the situation is looking good, and credits the lack of wind with helping firefighters.

The longtime Santa Barbara County resident says while in the past he would have stayed to try to protect his house, this time he’s leaving it to the professionals.