Firefighters have reached 50% containment on a vegetation fire that broke out late Wednesday night near Goleta Beach County Park.
The blaze was reported at 11:40 p.m. in a eucalyptus grove north of Goleta Beach and east of the Santa Barbara Airport, between Ward Drive and the Southern California Gas Co. plant, according to Capt. Scott Safechuck of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
About 9 acres had burned as of Thursday morning, and an evacuation warning for More Ranch Road had been lifted.
“The perimeter is not really active, which is good. It’s just that we’re working among 100-foot trees that are considered widowmakers, burned out at the base,” Safechuck told Noozhawk Thursday morning.
“We need to make sure no trees fall on us as we also cut them down.”
The county Fire Department was bringing in relief crews Thursday morning to replace personnel who were on scene overnight, and has already released firefighters from assisting fire agencies, Safechuck said.
There were about 85 firefighters on the scene overnight and about 65 personnel in the morning.
“We’re just trying to keep the embers down before the winds come,” Safechuck said.
Wind was carrying embers from the crowns of burning trees to surrounding areas and caused spot fires a quarter-mile away, which is why an evacuation warning was issued for More Ranch Road.
The spot fires were extinguished and the evacuation warning was lifted as of Thursday morning.
The flames were moving slowly but were being fanned by gusty winds on Wednesday night, Safechuck said.
No structures were immediately threatened.
One person in the area was detained by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies, but it was unclear whether it was in connection with the fire, Safechuck said.
Safechuck said the fire was 50% contained as of 3 a.m.
Helping in the battle were hand crews, bulldozers, water tenders, and a strike team of fire engines was requested.
Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.