GOLETA The Holiday Fire that occurred in July of 2018 north of the city of Goleta and burned more than 100 acres and destroyed two dozen structures was ignited by electrical conductors, authorities said.
The fire broke out at approximately 8:40 p.m. July 6 on the north end of Fairview Avenue in Goleta. The fire burned approximately 113 acres, damaged three single-family dwellings and destroyed 24 structures, including 10 single-family dwellings, said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Fire officials identified a specific origin area after examining fire pattern indicators. The area was surrounded by tall trees and vegetation that exceeded the height of distribution electrical conductors, Capt. Bertucelli said.
“The most probable ignition scenario identified during the investigation was high north winds causing either a tree branch, palm frond, or other vegetative debris to land across both the west and center distribution electrical conductors,” Capt. Bertucelli said. “The resulting fire spread south adjacent to North Fairview Avenue in alignment with the prevailing north wind.”
— Mitchell White