Saturday, July 7, 2018
The Holiday Fire that started late last night in Goleta is now 80 percent contained, said County Fire Chief Eric Peterson, and is expected to be fully contained by July 11. Many factors contributed to the significant progress firefighters have made in the last couple of hours. At a 4 p.m. press conference held at Dos Pueblos High School, Peterson thanked people for their cooperation. “You helped yourselves and you helped our firefighters,” said Peterson. “Fast compliance with mandatory evacuations helped avoid fatalities, and it allowed our firefighters to focus on the fire-fighting operations.” Because of hot and windy weather conditions, precautionary staff and supplies were prepared to allow departments to act quickly. “All county fire departments were fully staffed, and all were utilized,” said Peterson.
“The progress made is allowing many people back into their homes starting today at 5 p.m., shifting the number of affected residents from 3,200 to 600 people,” said Sheriff Bill Brown. The fire burned approximately 100 acres and had resulted in the evacuation of 2,500 people in Goleta. “The Holiday Fire destroyed a number of homes and damaged even more,” said Brown, “but there were no fatalities, no serious injuries, and no reports of missing people.” He urged the public to stay alert, sign up for Aware and Prepare alerts, and be prepared to leave quickly if the situation changed.
Second District County Supervisor Janet Wolf also attended the conference, where she addressed community members who lost their homes. “You have a community standing behind you to help get your life back,” said Wolf. Wolf lost her home in the 1990 Painted Cave Fire.
First responders and equipment came from neighboring counties came to Goleta’s aid to help fight the fire. “The Los Angeles County strike team came up,” said Peterson. “San Diego and Los Angeles also provided supplies." Fire recovery and prevention funding from Governor Jerry Brown’s May Revise was also utilized. State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Assemblymember Monique Limon, both present at the press conference, worked toward securing the fire recovery funds. “Prevention funding allowed the county to be in preventative mode, not just reactive,” Jackson said.
The cause of the fire has not been determined at this time; it is currently being investigated.