After more than four decades as a firefighter, a South Coast fire chief has announced plans to retire.
Santa Barbara Fire Chief Pat McElroy says he will step down in March of 2018.
The UC Santa Barbara graduate started as a firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service in 1976, and joined the City of Santa Barbara Fire Department in 1981.
After rising up through the ranks, he became chief in 2013. McElroy fought a number of major fires, including three blazes on Stearns Wharf, and the Painted Cave, Tea, and Jesusita brush fires.