Saturday, August 18 , 2018, 2:25 am | A Few Clouds 68º


Local News

Remaining Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Holiday Fire Area in Goleta

Damage toll raised to 13 homes destroyed, 3 damaged and 15 outbuildings lost

Firefighters pulling a rope to bring down a charred tree limb. Click to view larger
Firefirefighters pull down a charred tree limb along North Fairview Avenue in Goleta on Sunday afternoon. Remaining mandatory evacuation orders for the Holiday Fire area were lifted at 6 p.m. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted Sunday evening for the remaining areas affected by the Holiday Fire in Goleta.

However, only residents will be allowed in what has been designated an “exclusionary zone,” according to a statement from Santa Barbara County Emergency Operations Center.

The change in status was effective at 6 p.m. for neighborhoods accessed from North Fairview Avenue north of the intersection of La Goleta Road above Cathedral Oaks Road.

“Residents and homeowners living in these areas are permitted to return by showing identification at law enforcement checkpoints,” according to the statement. “Residents will want to be aware that not all power has been restored and the area may be congested with fire, public safety and and utility crews.”

The 100-acre fire that broke out Friday night rose to 90-percent containment as of Monday morning. 

Power line repairs. Click to view larger
Southern California Edison crews work to restore power along North Fairview Avenue in Goleta in the Holiday Fire area. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

An updated assessment put the number of residences destroyed at 13, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason.

He said 15 other structures — mainly barns, workshops and sheds — also were lost, while three homes were damaged by the fire.

Southern California Edison crews were busy repairing power poles and lines, but 143 customers in and around the fire area remained without power Sunday evening, according to the company’s website.

Edison estimated that power would be restored for those customers by 9 p.m. Monday.

Remaining fire crews — estimated at 150 personnel Monday morning — were seeking out and dousing hotspots, and removing dangerous trees and other vegetation from along the roadsides.

Man proposed to wife again after finding ring. Click to view larger
Ishu and Laura Rau returned to the site of their destroyed him to search for her wedding ring. After they found it, Ishu dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him again. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

The fire area overall was relatively quiet on Sunday, with only a few residents to be found, many of whom were escorted in to their homes by law enforcement to retrieve medications and other personel items.

A poingnant scene unfolded Sunday at a home that was destroyed in the fire, as related by Eliason.

"Having lost their Fairview home of 3 years Friday night, Ishu and Laura Rau search for her wedding ring," Eliason wrote in a Twitter post. "She found the damaged ring & Ishu promptly dropped to a knee and asked her to marry him again."

The evacuation center at the Goleta Valley Community Center closed at 5 p.m. Sunday, and a Local Assistance Center was scheduled to open Monday at the Goleta Union School District office at 401 N. Fairview Ave.

Belonging piled in front of a burned out home. Click to view larger
Belongings salvaged from a burned home are stacked in the year along North Fairview Avenue in Goleta. (Diego Topete / Noozhawk photo)

Center hours will be noon to 7 p.m. Monday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Additional hours will be scheduled as needed, county officials said.

“Representatives from state, local and nonprofit agencies will be on site to provide resources such as housing assistance, counseling support, information to aid in rebuilding, permitting, loss of business and/or employment, hazardous materials cleanup, basic health and human services resources, and other issues that have impacted people,” according to the county’s statement.

Driveway and burned out home. Click to view larger
A chimney and a mailbox are all that remain of a hosue destroyed by the Holiday Fire. (Diego Topete / Noozhawk photo)

With power still out to many homes, Eliason urged returning residents to exercise caution if they plan to utilize generators.

“While a backup source of power can keep you up and running during a power outage, generators can be dangerous if connected or used improperly,” county officials said. “Before using a generator, consult an electrician to determine the proper equipment and safe setup for your residence or business. Please refer to safety tips posted on the Southern California Edison website.”

Updates, resources and more information about recovery and rebuilding can be found online at

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Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

Burned out car. Click to view larger
A fire engine stand guard near a burned out vehicle in the Holiday Fire area. (Diego Topete / Noozhawk photo)

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