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.
Deputy Incident Commander Matt Ferris, with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, says a Red Flag Warning for dangerous fire conditions which was supposed to be cancelled Saturday night was cancelled Saturday morning because of milder than anticipated weather. He says crews took advantage of the situation to move containment from 5% Saturday morning to 80% by Saturday night.
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which was discovered at a little after 8:30 Friday night. Gusty wind quickly pushed the flames out of control, even though fire agencies in the region had beefed up staffing because of the extreme fire danger.
Ferris says they're hoping to have full containment of the fire by July 11th. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported. A Red Cross shelter at the Goleta Valley Community Center remains open for evacuees.
Link to changes in evacuation orders: http://www.countyofsb.org/asset.c/4344