Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

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Update by edhat staff
6:30 p.m., November 27, 2020

 

Local firefighters responded to a large brush fire along Highway 101 in Goleta possibly near homeless encampments. 

Santa Barbara County Fire Captain Daniel Bertucelli reported an initial brush fire off Highway 101 northbound between Patterson and Fairview Avenues at 3:53 p.m. Friday. 

There were multiple reports of the fire being near a homeless camp, although that has yet to be officially confirmed, said Bertucelli.

The first arriving crews found a heavy fire between the Highway and Calle Real and made an aggressive attack from the south side with arriving crews attacking from the north. Significant progress was made to protect the buildings in the area, said Bertucelli.

The fire was knocked down with forwarding progress halted when approximately 30-45 minutes later a second fire sparked 100 to 200 yards down the freeway.

The second fire began to burn intensely and caused spotting across the freeway onto the southbound side sparking light spot fires. More assistance was requested, said Bertucelli.

It's unclear how this second fire started.

There was one female who was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with injuries. Scanner traffic reported she sustained burn injuries but that has yet to be confirmed.

Firefighters will remain on scene throughout the evening and morning as traffic restrictions may also stay in place until Saturday morning.

This is a developing story.

Reported by Scanner Andrew
3:58 p.m., November 27, 2020

Santa Barbara County Fire is on scene of a vegetation fire on Hwy 101 just north of the 217. Multiple trees on fire.


Reported by JB86
4:00 p.m., November 27, 2020

At about 3:50 pm a fire was reported north of Patterson between 101 and Calle Real, with road closures at Patterson NB and Calle Real at Kellogg SB. 101 NB number 2 lane is closed north of Patterson. No structures are threatened. Origin is suspected to be a homeless encampment.


Video by @photography.aidan

By Julia A.


By Ryan O.


By Josh Blair


By Jessica B.

My husband was out on a bike ride and was able to get a couple of pics. 


By Lisa S.

Highway fire as seen from UCSB campus.


By Sophie Cameron

Photos of the Calle Real fire.


By Robert Bernstein

Here are my photos of the fire along Highway 101 around 5:00PM as seen from UCSB near the Mosher Alumni House.

I had been playing my music at the Isla Vista Bluffs and saw this scene:

At first I thought it was a fire in Isla Vista. But as I bicycled across Isla Vista it stayed far in the distance. I headed to the overlook at UCSB near the Mosher Alumni House to get a clearer panoramic view.

On my way over I encountered a bicyclist coming the other way who said it was along Highway 101 near Kellogg.

Here are some of my photos from that UCSB overlook. You can see the airport in the foreground and the smoke from the fire behind it.

Here you get the wide view with the nearly full moon in the upper right.

This shows a bit more of the smoke in the sky.

And here are some tighter shots of the airport terminal with the smoke rising behind it.

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SouthCoastPhoto Nov 30, 2020 09:55 AM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Fire official quote (LOL), "There were multiple reports of the fire being near a homeless camp, although that has yet to be officially confirmed..." Umm, if it looked like a dump it was probably a homeless camp, if it was pristine riparian area then likely not. Let's put this into story relevant terms, "where's there's smoke, there's fire." what is it going to take to get these people out of here, they are trespassing on Federal, State and Private property and soon something or someone is going to burn not related to these camps and the local government better have some good answers. I agree, Caltrans has cleaned up the area and made it less camping friendly but they have moved right back. Laying on the horn as you drive by at all hours of the day and night may seem productive but more of a nuisance to other nearby law abiding neighbors. What is going to be done about these serious hazards and vagrants that have already shown blatant disregard for the community by their actions and dangerous activities?

MountainMan4865 Nov 29, 2020 06:00 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Today, the Mr. and I watched, as a car that was pulled over on Glen Annie, just north of the northbound off ramp, were hauling trash bags of stuff into the bushes. I thought it was a pretty brazen dumping given then amount of traffic. They were even partially blocking a lane. It wasn't until a garbage bag, which had the definite outline of pots and pans, and then a rolled up section of carpet came out of the trunk, that I realized they were delivering to the large encampment to the north of that off ramp. The Mr. also thinking they were dumping finally yelled out "You're not really doing that, are you?" that one of the couple yelled out "It's for a friend of mine - thank you." and carried on - disappearing into the brush.

NostraChumash Nov 29, 2020 10:57 AM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Regarding homelessness in SB..
The city gov receives huge grants to combat this issue.
The problem lies within the spending of these monies..
Much goes to income & benefits to those workers, & very little to the issue at hand.
In order for Santa Barbara to have any desire to abate any homeless camps or persons, one MUST present a higher "payday" to homeless inc., or nothing will change..
No profit in the cure.

CoastWatch Nov 27, 2020 08:03 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Lets abate the vagrants and hire the Hell's Angels. Done with political correctness. There is NO CITY anywhere in the U.S. with a population of 150,000 that spends more money or has more PROGRAMS for "homeless-vargrants- drug-alcohol abusers.... ANYWHERE in the U.S.

ChemicalSuperFreak Nov 29, 2020 09:02 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

For those who don't know, fascis is Latin for "bundle". This Latin term is ubiquitous and some people might recognize the anatomical term fascia, which refers to the membrane that surrounds bundles of muscle fibers. The symbol of Italian fascism was the "fasces", or bundle of wheat. The fasces was considered a symbol of strength and unity, as you can easily break a single blade of wheat with your hands, but it's impossible to break a bundle. There's a great propaganda photo of Mussolini in Littoria, loading a bundles of wheat into a truck with Italian farmers. Unlike the Swastika, the unfortunate Hindu symbol adopted by the Nazis in WWII, the fasces (wheat bundle) has not been entirely erased from Italy. There are places in Italy where you might discover the fasces symbol on manhole covers, cornerstones on old buildings, and even public water pumps/faucets. Next time you're in Italy, look closely at some of these objects and see if you can't spot one.

ChemicalSuperFreak Nov 29, 2020 07:12 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Mussolini had a great plan for homelessness. Look up the history of Latina, Italy in the Lazio region, originally founded by Mussolini as Littoria in 1932. Mussolini drained the Pontine Marshes, something Italian rulers had been trying to do for thousands of years. Everyone one from Julius Caesar to Pope Sixtus V tried and failed. Mussolini's bonifica integrale and bonifica igienica succeeded because he took the homeless, jobless bums in Rome and shipped them to the Lazio region and put them to work. Mussolini literally drained the swamp and turned a mosquito infested region into one capable of growing wheat for Italy. Mussolini transformed those vagrants into proud Italians who now had work, homes and a living wage to raise their families. Mussolini also drove the Sicilian mob out of Italy. Before you start criticizing Il Duce, I'll acknowledge that his relationship with Hitler was unfortunate, as he feared Italy would easily be overrun by German forces if he did not cooperate. But for that, he did remarkable things for Italy and certainly knew how to deal with vagrants in a constructive way.

CoastWatch Nov 29, 2020 05:32 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

@ALEX- The City of Santa Barbara alone has contributed a MINIMUM of $1 Million a year in taxpayer funds. This does not even include the monies spent over 30 years hiring full-time vested employees within SB County to directly deal with the "Homeless". From Psyche Dr's and Nurses, Drug /Alcohol councilors, housing relocation specialists, and not even mentioning all the housing that has been provided- From the condos on Carrillo/Castillo, 600 blk Garden St, multiple units on East Cota St. and the HUNDREDS of motel vouchers and section 8 housing units.... BOOM, there it is.

CoastWatch Nov 29, 2020 09:26 AM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

@THEGENERAL- As I mentioned in my post, WE (local taxpayers), have been pumping 100's of MILLIONS of dollars into "Homeless Inc." over the past 30 years or so- and NOTHING HAS CHANGED, In fact, these vagrants are more entitled than ever and feel they can start warming fires at will, to hell with public safety... So yeah, I'm up for trying new ideas instead of coddling.

GeneralTree Nov 28, 2020 07:20 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Coastwatch - Hitler had a similar plan, it was efficient - but the rest of the world didn't think it was a good idea. Really pathetic you'd propose abating humans like weeds, and dehumanizing others. But such is the Republican party these days.

surfergirl69 Nov 27, 2020 07:50 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Hmmm.... to all the people jumping on a band-wagon to exterminate the "homeless"'s homes and the homeless ....first of all, it may not be from a homeless camp...but, OK, it probably was. Secondly, there have been homeless camps along the tracks and Hway 101 for YEARS...but it is only recently that there have been so many fires. Doesn't anyone think that is strange ?? Doesn't anyone think that it is strange that , today, more fires suddenly popped up ACROSS 101 ? I was driving through there about 4:45 and it was almost out...then there is a huge blaze after that ?? No wind BTW. Maybe there is a pyromaniac homeless person, or an imitation "homeless" pyromaniac . Next.....The idea to remove all the trees to end the problem is crazy because the trees are wind breaks, beautiful, noise breaks, absorb greenhouse gases and give off oxygen, and for other reasons protect us and birds and animals, and homeless people. And, here's one for ya...check out how many homes have been destroyed /lives lost because of homeless fires. Not many, if any. Then compare that to homes destroyed/lives lost because of power company (could be PGE/Edison or the like) power line problems. MANY , MANY lives lost and homes destroyed. Power lines breaking and grounding out, metallic kites , and etc. Homeless fires are easier to put out . Power line failures are usually in the forests, and usually during strong winds. So, if you're not just bully-bashing vulnerable people and you truly care about protecting lives/property.....check the facts about causes of devastating fires in CA, and then go after the real culprits. BTW, if we all had solar and local power, we wouldn't need power lines through the forests.

Zenyatta19 Nov 28, 2020 03:23 AM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Surfer girl- The number of fires caused by electrical equipment is irrelevant in this conversation. It’s not a comparison. As a community we have to be proactive and prevent fires from starting wherever there is potential. We have to mitigate the potential danger. You incorrectly stated ******* “And, here's one for ya...check out how many homes have been destroyed /lives lost because of homeless fires. Not many, if any.” ****This is false. Thousands of acres have burned in Ca this year, homes have been lost and lives ruined due to homeless encampment fires in Riverside, LA, Menlo Park, Santa Rosa and San Bernardino. Fresno county responded to 1018 homeless encampment fire calls from Jan-Aug. only 600 panned out... The cities of Oakland and Malibu are so concerned about the increase in these fires, they have enacted local ordinances to bypass state law regarding homeless encampments. When firefighters respond to these fires it is a dangerous situation as there are often things such as propane tanks, plastics and toxic debris burning. No one is being a bully. These are the facts. Homeless encampments put everyone at risk and it’s unacceptable to do nothing.

JB86 Nov 27, 2020 08:20 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

I don't think many people are advocating clear-cutting along the freeway. What most want is clearing out the undergrowth. This has zero impact on the environment. Remove the undergrowth, you remove the threat to the mature trees. What is wrong with this approach?

Lucky 777 Nov 27, 2020 07:20 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

I advocate the City pulling eminent domain on the local golf courses and transferring all the denizens of the encampments to them. Have soup kitchens set up, portapotties, let them build their shelters and make a Hooverville and squat. Excuse me, a Bidenville. The vast majority of the citizens have never used a golf course. Let the course owners sacrifice for the Greater Good and mark off "socially distanced" plots for the homeless to come and camp on.

holazola Nov 27, 2020 07:43 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Really? The man is not even in office yet and you're ripping on him like this? Better to name it for the one who made ZERO progress in the last four years helping out the most needy in our society, causing their numbers to explode. It's sad that we are only concerned when their actions put others at risk.

JB86 Nov 27, 2020 06:02 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Remember, Gov Nuisance issued an edict that prevents disturbing homeless encampments during the COVD emergency, so local agencies are a bit constrained in what they can do to abate homeless camps. This never made much sense, but is in force until modified by the Governor.

420722 Nov 27, 2020 05:53 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

This has absolutely got to stop, somebody is going to lose their home or business. Also, what is up with the highways, there is trash everywhere, broken car parts etc. I feel like we live in a beautiful trash can. The sunsets, mountains and beach are gorgeous everything else is sh!t.

Robby Nov 27, 2020 05:45 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Enough is enough! We've been damn lucky with each one of these that the wind hasn't kicked up and burned the town to the ground. How many times can we expect to play with this loaded gun and not get hurt. Roust the offenders is the answer... there are other humane options for them.

Basicinfo805 Nov 27, 2020 05:09 PM
Multiple Brush Fires Near Homeless Camp on Highway 101 in Goleta

Ok, it's official we're going to need clearcut the entire 101 corridor in Santa Barbara. Once we get Caltrans on board, or not, an army of volunteers will come out with their own chainsaws on a Sunday. Heavy duty throwaway boots are rquired so you don't get poked by a needle or bring nasty human poop EColi shoes home. Everyone signs a waiver, which they will readily do because they're showing up on a Sunday as a volunteer. We'll lay into the eucalyptus and leave behind nothing to hide in. The inhabitants may head to the Rescue Mission if they wish, or elsewhere. A list of shelters and other resources will be provided to those living there in case they're not yet aware of the County's commitment to homelessness.

I think firewood can be auctioned off at an event to be determined, probably a Montecito deal where Murillo can make an appearance as auctioneer. Thoughts?

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