Firefighters Make Progress in Southern California Wildfires

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Firefighters in Santa Barbara County have continued to battle wildfires that have destroyed about 20 structures and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. The Holiday fire is now 80 percent contained, with full containment expected by Wednesday, according to Mike Eliason, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

On Sunday morning, firefighters battled wildfires amid the brutal heat wave that has hit Southern California over the weekend. Armed with shovels, they canvassed the hillside neighborhoods looking for any remaining hot spots.

The 100-acre Holiday fire was one of the most destructive wildfires that broke out in Southern California during this intense heat wave. Temperatures ranged from high 90’s to high 110’s throughout California, with energy grids being heavily taxed to keep up higher than normal amount of air conditioning units running. 

The Holiday fire spread through Santa Barbara County with increasing sundowner winds taking the fire throughout the hillside. High temperatures combined with the dry brush created the perfect conditions for a fire, but Sunda’s cooler temperatures aided in helping contain the fire.

In San Diego County, several fires erupted in areas in the foothills, one of which burned at least five homes. Another fire on the Camp Pendleton Marine base prompted the evacuation of 750 homes. Ben Stanfill, a San Diego resident, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he and other relatives helped evacuate his mother’s house and prepare for the worst.

“We just grabbed everything you can’t replace or re-buy,” Stanfill said. “My grandma’s photographs, the cat, my sister’s Mickey Mouse teddy bear she’s had since she was little.”

Amidst fears of more fires erupting, Governor Jerry Brown has since declared a state of emergency as the high temperatures continue with no rainfall expected.

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