Firefighters Hopeful They Are Getting Upper Hand On Destructive Santa Barbara County Brush Fire

Jul 7, 2018

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.

The Holiday Fire caused some of the heaviest damage along northern Fairview Avenue, leaving numerous homes gutted.  Daybreak brought a stunning scene, with the destruction fully appsrent for the first time.

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. Hundreds of homes from west of Fairview Avenue to Patterson Avenue were ordered evacuated, impacting more than 3,000 people. No injuries were reported. 

The wind died down at about 2:30 a.m., giving firefighters the opportunity to stop the spread of the flames.

The Red Cross set up a shelter at the Goleta Valley Community Center. Firefighters initially focused on protecting people and homes. After midnight, the wind stopped, giving firefighters a break in their efforts to save structures. It could be midday before firefighters are able to accurately assess the size of the blaze, and how many structures were lost.

Santa Barbara County declared a local State of Emergency, setting the stage for additional firefighting and recovery resources from the state, and federal governments