January 28, 2023
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Holiday fire reaches 100 acres, 90 percent containment


This story was last updated on July 9 at 2:30 p.m.

A wind-driven fire that swept through a neighborhood near Goleta overnight destroying some 13 structures was largely under control at 90 percent containment on July 10 after burning 100 acres.

Photos courtesy of Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office

Initial assessments indicate the fire may have been caused by damage to an electrical transformer, one first responder said, but the incident is still under investigation.

Santa Barbara County declared a state of emergency shortly before midnight on July 7 as the Holiday Fire triggered evacuations of about 2,500 people and cut off power to hundreds of customers as fire agencies mounted a massive response that included helicopter drops as winds died down in the morning of July 8.

A reported 13 homes had burned as of July 9. Evacuation warnings were still in effect, but some residents and business owners had been allowed back into the areas along La Patera Lane, Carlo Drive, Santa Margarita Drive, Hidden Lane, Cambridge Drive, Dorado Drive, North Kellogg Avenue, Avenida Pequena, and North Patterson Avenue.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a California State of Emergency for Santa Barbara County on July 8, making available additional resources to fight the fire.

As of July 8, the Holiday fire has destroyed 28 structures total, including 13 single family residences, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The Damage Inspection Team has completed their field work.13 Single Family Residence Destroyed, 3 Single Family Residence Damaged, 15 Outbuildings including, barns, workshops and sheds have been destroyed.

A Red Cross emergency shelter was set up at the Goleta Valley Community Shelter on Hollister Avenue in Goleta. Animals were being sheltered at Earl Warren Showgrounds and at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter.

In anticipation of strong sundowner winds, firefighters had pre-positioned extra crews on the South Coast who were able to respond quickly. An animal rescue facility near the fire area was successfully evacuated, officials said.

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Assemblymember Monique Limón, both Democrats from Santa Barbara, scheduled a joint informational hearing on local recovery and rebuilding efforts for July 12. Representatives from the Central Coast region will discuss the current status of the affected areas of both the Thomas and Holiday fires and long-term revitalization efforts, and representatives from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and Cal Fire will provide an update on wildfire mitigation efforts, among other topics.

The hearing will take place at the Montecito Union School District Auditorium, 385 San Ysidro Road from 4-6 p.m., with opportunities for public comment.

The July 6 Holiday fire was so named because it broke out on Holiday Hill Road in Goleta.