Yellow fire hoses still snaked through Westmont College’s campus in Santa Barbara, California, more than a week after the Thomas fire nearly burned through the campus.
The flames came within a few feet of Page Hall, one of the freshman dorms, and burn patches dotted the surrounding vegetation. Lines of fire retardant stained the ridges overlooking the school red, and behind lines of yellow caution tape cleanup crews used cranes and chainsaws to remove trees and shrubs from the burn area.
On the night it started, Westmont students could see the glow of the Thomas fire from 40 miles away. Soon thereafter, the school sent students home, conducting final exams remotely.
By the time the fire reached campus two weeks later, most everyone had already left. [Read more…]