Arson Suspect Arrested for Loma Alta Fire

Source: Santa Barbara Police Department

On May 20, 2021, around 8:55 pm, numerous 9-1-1 calls started pouring into the Santa Barbara Police Combined Communications Center about a large vegetation fire on Loma Alta Drive. Multiple Officers and Fire Department personnel responded to the scene.  The hillside, adjacent to Loma Alta Drive was ablaze and Santa Barbara City Fire requested assistance from allied fire agencies to help extinguish the fire.

Due to the fast-moving fire and proximity to neighborhoods, multiple off-duty Santa Barbara Police Officers were recalled to assist with evacuations.   Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Santa Barbara Police Department with evacuations and road closures. Hundreds of residents in the surrounding neighborhoods were evacuated. 

Around midnight, City Fire Investigators noticed a suspicious subject scrambling down the lower portion of the hill and hiding in the brush between Loma Alta Drive and West Ortega Street. Investigators detained the suspect and called for immediate Police back-up. Officers, Detectives, and Fire Investigators detained Victor Hernandez (23 years old), a Santa Barbara resident. Hernandez has been a suspect in other recent arson cases within the city.

Hernandez was arrested on scene for being under the influence of a controlled substance and taken to the Santa Barbara Police Department while the fire investigation continued. There, Police Detectives and Fire Investigators interviewed Hernandez and established a timeline that put him at the scene of the Loma Fire. It was determined there were five separate fires in total last night. Fire Investigators believe the Loma Fire was an act of arson.

Hernandez was booked in Santa Barbara County Jail for 451(b) PC – Arson of an Inhabited Dwelling (vegetation fire caused damage to a structure), five counts of 451(c) PC – General Arson, 11550(a) H&S – Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance, and 11377 H&S – Possession of Narcotics. He is currently being held on $2,000,000 (two million) bail.

This investigation is still ongoing. At this time, the Loma Fire is 70% contained and has been determined to be 7-acres in size.

Loma Alta Drive will be closed from West Canon Perdido Street to Coronel Street for the remainder of the day and may possibly be closed until Saturday.

The Police Department would like to thank the community members of Santa Barbara for quickly complying with the evacuation order and staying away from the area.

Related Articles

 May 20, 2021: Evacuations Ordered for TV Hill Fire


Written by Anonymous

What do you think?


2 Comments deleted by Administrator

Leave a Review or Comment


  1. KEW- So, are you saying that because it’s their job, you can’t tell them that they did a good job? I guess no one has ever told you at your job (if you have one), that you did a good job. Cop hater…

  2. If you read carefully, you will see that he was detained by city fire investigators. Despite the poor label, “defund the police” is about reallocating some police funding to a broader scope of social services so that traffic stops, the mentally ill, etc. can be met with less than deadly force. Many police are for such programs (when given more sensible names) because they are overtaxed with responsibilities that they are not trained for.

  3. After people like that try burning your house down, you might feel differently about defunding (because this IS what this “woke” movement is all about) the police !
    Good luck with crime in YOUR neighborhood !

  4. I’ve got an idea.
    lets disarm the guys who are going to be asked to go into a arson crime scene where people were at risk of burning to death.
    Surely no one responsible for an arson and subsequent human BBQ would ever, ever resort to further violence. Or are you saying the arsonist detained/ now booked knew somehow no one died in the house above him that caught on fire?
    A criminal that does things that could possibly kill people needs to be confronted with force the same level of possibility simply because they’ve already shown that level of disregard for innocent life.
    Heaven forfend a California Condor dies in this kind of fire… my god, that will get the death penalty, while some rich guy uphill killed by accident in the fire? “meh” until you compute how much his/her tax burden is now lost

  5. That’s what it means to you Marcel… but to many it actually means defunding and getting rid of the police. So how about a new name/term that can distance your thoughts from the far fringe crazies who legitimately want the police gone.
    If anything what a lot of the defund crowd is actually aiming for is basically Double Fund The Police… give them tons more money for more training and specialists. Not all of course… there is that decent size group that flat out says what they mean when they say “defund the police”.

  6. FONDOFSB, if you REALLY want to see who the “defund the police” nutjobs are, just go to the facebook or instagram pages for Bonfire Collective and while you’re at it, Food Not Bombs Isla Vista.
    These guys hold a weekly secret “coffee not cops” meeting, just down the street from the Isla Vista Foot Patrol station.
    They just held a march here in Isla Vista that went from the west end of Isla Vista to Storke Tower on the UCSB campus.
    Great slogans like “Abolish The Police!” or “Cops Off This Planet!” or “No More Police State!” being shouted, but the winner had to be “Abolish Prisons! Tear Them Down! Free Them All!”
    Isla Vista, a little college town that’s I was born and raised in, 20,000 or maybe 25,000 people, mostly young and all these guys could muster for their march was 30, maybe 35 people. The best part is I got to watch it go past my place. It was amusing!
    So, if you REALLY want to see what the loony anti-cop wacky activists look like, check out the pages I mentioned.
    But the main reason I’m responding to your comment is to say don’t be surprised, when they find out this filthy arsonist IS a “houseless neighbor” they will try to raise money for his bail.

  7. MOUNTAINMAN4865, apparently not, but then again, if he’s a “houseless neighbor” then he’s a “protected species” and they’re given lots of love and coddling. It’s called “holistic justice” by the “abolish the police” crowd.

Solstice Blooming Garden

Lack of Emergency Messaging for Loma Fire