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Sunday, December 9 , 2018, 3:11 pm | Fair 67º


Santa Barbara County, Gov. Jerry Brown Declare State of Emergency for Goleta’s Holiday Fire

Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for blaze that has destroyed at least 20 structures, charred 100 acres in area of North Fairview Avenue


The Santa Barbara County declared a local emergency for the destructive Holiday Fire, which has damaged or destroyed at least 20 structures and was continuing to burn in the hills above Goleta on Saturday.

“The Holiday Fire is causing conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the county of Santa Barbara,” the declaration said.

“These conditions are beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the combined forces of Santa Barbara County Operational Area to combat.”

Gov. Jerry Brown also declared a state of emergency for Santa Barbara County due to the fire, and Goleta declared a local emergency. 

As of 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the fire had blackened an estimated 100 acres and was 80-percent contained, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

No injuries have been reported, and the cause of the blaze was listed as "unknown."

Mutual-aid firefighters from local cities and other counties continues to pour into the area, and daylight allows more aircraft to join the effort.  

Mandatory evacuations orders remained in effect Saturday afternoon for the area between Cathedral Oaks Road and West Camino Cielo Road, and between La Patera Lane and North Patterson Avenue, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

An estimated 2,500 people were affected by the evacuation order.

Evacuation orders will remain in effect until further notice, authorities said.

The blaze started at about 8:45 p.m. Friday when, according to county officials, a structure fire on Holiday Hill Road spread to the vegetation and burned along North Fairview Avenue.

Remains of burned house. Click to view larger
The remains of a home in the North Fairview Avenue area of Goleta that was destroyed by the Holiday Fire Friday night. (Ray Ford / Noozhawk photo)

The specific cause of the blaze has not been identified.

An evacuation center is available at the Goleta Valley Community Center, at 5679 Hollister Ave., and small pets can be taken there as well.

Large animals can be evacuated to the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara, 3400 Calle Real, and small animals can be taken to the County Animal Shelter at 5473 Overpass Road in Goleta.

Roadway closures in the area of the fire were implemented to keep people out of the way of firefighters, and the California Highway Patrol said Saturday that “all roads northbound from La Patera Lane to Patterson Avenue along Cathedral Oaks Road are closed to the public.”

The Goleta area is expected to hit high temperatures again Saturday, with a forecast to peak around 93 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

A Red Flag Warning, denoting extreme fire-weather danger, expired at 10 a.m. Saturday.

fire perimeter map Click to view larger
A perimeter map shows the footprint of the Holiday Fire Saturday morning.  (Contributed photo)

The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network evacuated animals from its facility at 1460 North Fairview Ave. late Friday night, the organization said in a Facebook post. 

“Thanks to some very brave staff and animal control, we have many birds with us now from baby bird room and pelican pools. We had to evacuate, Fairview Road is on fire and winds are very intense. Thought and prayers to our community, firefighters, and animals!!”

“From the last report, the center has been burned around the edges, but our facility is still standing. We are so grateful, knowing many of our amazing neighbors have not been as lucky. Still, we have to be evacuated and are still very concerned for the area,” the group wrote on its Facebook page Saturday morning. 

Staff set up a temporary base at the Santa Barbara Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Road and animals were being evacuated to multiple locations, and the center asked for volunteers, donations and supplies.

The Humane Society was housing evacuated animals including more than 100 birds, 10 chickens, three goats, some rabbits, a tortoise, dogs and cats as of Saturday morning, the agency said. Most of the birds came from the Santa Barbara Wildfire Care Network, according to the Humane Society. 

For fire information, residents can call 2-1-1 or text their zip code to 898.211. Anyone located outside the 805 area code can call 800.400.1572.

Click here to sign up for Santa Barbara County Aware & Prepare emergency alerts.

Click here to receive Noozhawk breaking news text alerts on your cell phone. 

The fire is burning in unincorporated areas as of Saturday morning, but the City of Goleta is posting updates on its Facebook page and residents can sign up for city emergency alerts here

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District monitors daily air quality and reported conditions that were “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in Goleta as of 9 a.m. Saturday, and “moderate” conditions in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc as of Saturday morning.

Click here for the latest air quality conditions.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

fire burning house Click to view larger
A house burns in the North Fairview Avenue area Friday night. (Ray Ford / Noozhawk photo)

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