Helicopter Clips Wires Causing Fire in Goleta

29 Comments
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Update by edhat staff
11:29 a.m., April 20, 2018

A crop dusting helicopter clipped power lines causing a 1/4 vegetation fire in Goleta on Friday morning.

At 8:50 a.m., Santa Barbara County and City Firefighters with Los Padres National Forest crews responded to a reported brush fire in the 1100 block of Ellwood Ranch Road in Goleta.

After an investigation, crews discovered a crop dusting helicopter working in the area had clipped high tension power lines causing the wires to arch. One wire came down and started a grass fire.

County Fire Captain Dave Zaniboni reported the grass is still green and moist so the fire wasn't able to spread very far. It was contained just under 1/4 acre. 

The helicopter made an emergency landing in the canyon and the single pilot on board was uninjured. There are no other reported injuries or structures threatened and So Cal Edison has been contacted to repair the wires.


Reported by Roger the Scanner Guy
8: 52 a.m., April 20, 2018

Small vegetation fire in the 1300 Block of Ellwood Ranch Road Goleta.

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29 Comments

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goletaspring Apr 20, 2018 02:31 PM
Helicopter Clips Wires Causing Fire in Goleta

I live by Winchester Canyon and there have been more and more helicopters flying extremely low, spraying pesticides very close to homes. This seems extremely unsafe, even without the risk of fire, which I never thought about before. Does anyone know what agency would regulate this?

a-1534712806 Apr 20, 2018 03:47 PM
Helicopter Clips Wires Causing Fire in Goleta

I am not certain, but helicopters right now are likely spraying avocados with ProGibb LV Plus to increase crop yields. It's a foliar application and must be sprayed at just the right phase. Right now most Haas avocados are flowering and that's the optimal time. Again, I cannot confirm this helicopter was spraying this application on that orchard, but it is pretty commonly used locally.

Potif Apr 20, 2018 02:15 PM
Helicopter Clips Wires Causing Fire in Goleta

I have no doubt it will be properly investigated. It is possible that there were problems with the helicopter which placed in in a position to clip the wires. I don't think the pilot wanted to do that, unless he/she is suicidal. It apparently damaged the helicopter as well, even if it didn't have mechanical problems prior to the incident.

Channelfog Apr 20, 2018 03:32 PM
Helicopter Clips Wires Causing Fire in Goleta

"It is possible that there were problems with the helicopter which placed in in a position to clip the wires." It is far more likely that pilot navigation was the issue. I certainly hope this is thoroughly investigated. I wish I shared your unwavering confidence in the capacity of Federal Agencies to effectively complete their appointed duties.

a-1534712806 Apr 20, 2018 01:19 PM
Helicopter Clips Wires Causing Fire in Goleta

RICHYRICH - so, if this helicopter pilot would have caused a massive fire due to his/her carelessness and clipping off the power lines, who would be at fault?

Channelfog Apr 20, 2018 12:32 PM
Helicopter Clips Wires Causing Fire in Goleta

I certainly hope the FAA does investigate this as there is absolutely no reason the chopper should have flown close enough to hit the power transmission cable. A few months ago a 1/4 acre fire could have become another devastating conflagration. Pilot is lucky not to have crashed or fried while arcing (not arching) between wires. Bad pilot! Bailiff whack his... ...

Roger Apr 20, 2018 09:27 AM
Helicopter Clips Wires Causing Fire in Goleta

Fire department being cautious because of the live wires (Southern California Edison responding)...Fire not expected to grow much but there will be a long mop up.

Roger Apr 20, 2018 09:19 AM
Helicopter Clips Wires Causing Fire in Goleta

It's a small vegetation fire with as much equipment responding hopefully it will be knocked down soon, through they will be on scene for a time..

Roger Apr 20, 2018 09:10 AM
Helicopter Clips Wires Causing Fire in Goleta

Fire mid sloap 3 wires down visable from the road below 3/4 tenths of an acre dead vegetation burning 2 or 3 feet high- This is a small vegetation fire with 3 live wires down.

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