This story was last updated at 7:37 a.m. Saturday
Twenty structures were destroyed and hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate Friday night as a wind-whipped brush fire ripped through the foothills above Goleta.
The first crews responded at about 8:45 p.m. to the 1500 block of Holiday Hill Road, off North Fairview Avenue, on a report of a vegetation fire.
Evacuations were ordered almost immediately as the flames from what was dubbed the Holiday Fire advanced rapidly, fanned by gusty sundowner winds and temperatures near 100 degrees.
At 7 a.m. Saturday, offiicals reported that 20 homes and outbuildings had been charred by the fire, which they estimated at 50-80 acres.
It was 5 percent contained, and some 350 firefighters from throughout the region remained assigned to the blaze.
No injuries were reported, accordign to Santa Barbara County fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.
At 11 p.m., flames were moving primarily south along Fairview Avenue and west toward Carlo Drive, although there also was fire east of Fairview, according to Mike Eliason, another county Fire Department spokesman.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered throughout the area, and the county Office of Emergency Management said any residents on the mountain side of Cathedral Oaks Road “should evacuate immediately downhill and away from the area as a precaution.”
Phone contacts were made with some 1,200 people ordering them to evacuate, according to Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.
At about 11 p.m., the evacuation area was expanded to include everything north of Cathedral Oaks between Patterson Avenue on the east and La Patera Lane on the west.
A county helicopter with night-flying capabilities responded to help battle the blaze, Eliason said.
However, the aircraft later went out of service due to mechanical problems, according to emergency radio traffic.
Additional night-flying helicopters reportedly were requested from Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
Power lines were reported down in the area, and Southern California Edison was asked to shut down power to avoid risks to firefighters.
Multiple strike teams and other resources were ordered from surrounding jurisdictions and were en route to the fire.
By late Friday, significant resources were in place for structure protection, and more were expected to pour in overnight, Zaniboni said.
The facilities of the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network at 1460 N Fairview Ave. appeared to have weathered the firestorm, and volunteers reportedly evacuated many of the sick and injured animals.
The county Office of Emergency Management reported that the blaze started as a structure fire that spread to the vegetation, but that could not be confirmed.
According to emergency radio traffic, 50 to 100 structures were threatened initially.
Fairview Avenue was closed north of Cathedral Oaks, according to the California Highway Patrol.
“Please be careful if you’re driving through the area and report any other possible fire locations,” the CHP said in a Twitter post.
Eliason urged everyone to stay out of the area, saying people were getting in the way of fire crews.
At midnight, temperatures in the area were still hovering in the 90s, with winds of 15-20 mph.
Santa Barbara County’s heat wave that arrived Friday will continue through the weekend, and the Santa Barbara Airport, in Goleta, tied the heat record Friday with a top temperature of 101 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
As of 7:30 p.m., the weather service noted, the airport monitoring station reported a 9-degree climb in 30 minutes as sundowner, downslope winds developed in the area.
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— SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) July 7, 2018