Fires

Holiday Fire in Goleta 80 percent contained, some evacuation orders lifted

Watch helicopter drop water on Holiday Fire in Goleta

Watch a helicopter drop water on smoldering areas from the Holiday Fire in Goleta, California on Saturday, July 7, 2018. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the area after 20 structures were destroyed.
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Watch a helicopter drop water on smoldering areas from the Holiday Fire in Goleta, California on Saturday, July 7, 2018. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the area after 20 structures were destroyed.

The Holiday Fire that burned more than 100 acres, destroyed numerous structures and displaced thousands of Santa Barbara County residents reached 80 percent containment late Saturday afternoon.

Crews fought through the night to ensure hundreds of structures were saved, leading to some areas that were under mandatory evacuation orders to be downgraded to evacuation warning status by 5 p.m. Saturday.

"Fire and law enforcement commanders changed the status of the mandatory evacuation area primarily due to improving weather conditions and improving fire containment," Cal Fire said. "People living in the new evacuation warning area must be prepared to leave the area immediately should conditions change."

County officials said the cause of the wind-driven brush fire that broke out Friday evening in the 1500 block of Holiday Hill Road is unknown, and an active investigation is ongoing. Officials were not able to provide an accurate number of structures destroyed, though they estimated it was more than 20.

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No injuries have been reported, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Peterson.

The fire, which initially spread with help from near-triple-digit temperatures and sundowner winds, prompted the Santa Barbara County Emergency Manager and later Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, about 600 people were still evacuated from their homes, down from about 2,500 earlier in the day.

"We want our community members to know that we are with you, and we will do everything we can to ensure your safety," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.

More than 500 firefighters, from Santa Barbara County and throughout the region, including San Luis Obispo County, were on scene to fight the fire.

Peterson said crews hope to reach full containment by July 11.

A Red Cross evacuation shelter was set up at the Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave. Anyone in need of assistance with animal evacuations can call 805-681-4332.

More than 160 animals are currently being sheltered, said Nick Clay, director of the Emergency Medical Services Agency.

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