News

(Photo from Ventura County Sheriff's Department)

Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives say they’ve broken up an organized retail theft ring which used teams of people to distract clothing store clerks while other members of the team would steal items.

Investigators say members of the ring stole more than three thousand dollars worth of items from a Victoria’s Secret Store in Thousand Oaks.

Firefighters are continuing to make progress towards fully containing a destructive brush fire which destroyed 13 homes, and damaged three others in Santa Barbara County. The 100 acre Holiday Fire is now 90% contained, with firefighters hoping to reach 100% Wednesday. Firefighters are still busy sifting through the debris of homes, as well as some brushy areas looking for hot spots.

KCLU's Lance Orozco looks at the first few hours of the fire, in which the wind overwhelmed firefighters, and area residents raced to grab what they could before fleeing from the flames.

A new Santa Barbara County center to help Holiday Fire victims is now operating in Goleta.

The Local Assistance Center located at the Goleta Union School District offices opened Monday, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Representatives from state, local and non-profit agencies are on hand to provide fire victims with help on things from social services to debris removal.

Depending on the need, county officials say they may extend the center’s operations, but for now it is open for sure Tuesday and Wednesday.

An agency which works to help create healthy children in Santa Barbara County has a new executive director.

Wendy Sims-Moten is the new head of First Five Santa Barbara County. Sims-Moten is familiar with the post, because she has been serving as its Interim Executive Director, and before that was the organization’s Business Manager.

Since it was founded in 1999, the non-profit has distributed more than $65 million dollars to programs which support the health and development of children in the county.

Photo by Santa Paula Fire Department

For the first time in more than a century, one Ventura County community has a new fire department.

The Santa Paula Fire Department has been serving the city since 1903. But on Sunday morning, it officially became part of the Ventura County Fire Department.

Hundreds of firefighters are continuing efforts to mop up a destructive 100 acre brush fire which destroyed 13 homes, and damaged three others on the South Coast.

The Holiday Fire in the foothills north of Goleta is 80% contained, with full containment projected for Wednesday. All evacuation orders from the Friday night have been lifted, but some areas are open to residents only.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

From the ashes of the Holiday Fire comes a story of love.

Ishu and Laura Rao lost their home off of Fairview Avenue in the Goleta area to the Holiday Fire Friday night. 

With the threat eased, firefighters allowed the couple to return to the remains of their house to search for Laura's Tiffany wedding ring.

Incredibly, it survived the fire, and they found it.  Ishu Rao dropped to his knees, and asked his wife again to marry him.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters say a combination of hard work and a break with the weather has allowed them to reach 80% containment of the destructive Holiday Fire, burning in the foothills north of Goleta.

A number of mandatory evacuation orders have been downgraded due to the progress in stopping the 100 acre blaze.  Santa Barbara County Fire officials say 10 homes were destroyed and three were damaged. Nine other structures were also gutted. 

Firefighters say they now have a good handle on a fast moving brush fire destroyed at least 10 homes in the foothills above Goleta Friday night and early Saturday morning.

They say the 60 acre blaze is now 5% contained, and they are hoping to make significant progress during the day Saturday.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

A fast moving brush fire destroyed at least 10 homes in the foothills above Goleta Friday night and early Saturday morning.

The blaze caused some of the heaviest damage along northern Fairview Avenue, leaving numerous homes gutted.

The fire was discovered just after 8:30 Friday night, with wind topping 40 miles an hour quickly blowing the blaze out of control.  With a Red Flag warning for high fire danger in effect because of the extreme heat and wind in the forecast, extra fire crews had been deployed in the county, but it still wasn't enough to stop the flames.

Extremely hot temperatures with dry and windy conditions continue this weekend. However, it’ll be a few degrees cooler and slightly less windy.

The National Weather Service has issued excessive heating warnings for the South and Central Coasts that will last until 9 pm Saturday. You can expect highs on Saturday to reach the upper 70s to mid 80s at the beaches and the 90s to triple digits inland with 15 to 25 mile an hour winds.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters are continuing their efforts to try to stop a fast moving brush fires in the foothills above Goleta which burned some homes, and forced the evacuations of hundreds of others.

What's being called the Holiday Fire started just after 8:30 Friday night north of Cathedral Oaks Road, and quickly spread.

Wind in the 40 mile an hour range made the blaze tough to fight as it moved through rugged foothill areas.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

A brush fire burning on the north side of Goleta has forced the evacuation of thousands of people, and has destroyed some homes.

The fire started just after 8:30 Friday night north of Cathedral Oaks Road, and quickly spread.  Temperatures near the 100 degree mark, and wind in the 40 mile an hour range made the blaze tough to fight as it moved through rugged foothill areas.

Santa Barbara County firefighters confirm at least a handful of homes have been lost. 

A wind driven brush fire is burning in the hills above Goleta Friday night.

The fire was reported just before 9 p.m.  The blaze has prompted an evacuation order for residents of the area north of Cathedral Oaks Road from Patterson, to Fairview Avenues.  

Mike Eliason, with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, told KCLU News some structures have been lost, but there's no word on what type of structures were impacted.

The Red Cross has set up an evacuation center at the Goleta valley Community Center. 

Friday was a sweltering day for much of the Central and South Coasts, with extreme temperatures reaching the 90’s on the coast, and topping 110 inland.

With some wind in the forecast, there is a Red Flag warning for high fire danger overnight Friday into Saturday for parts of the South Coast.

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