SOLVANG, Calif. - A decades-old tradition in Solvang came back to life Friday night with the return of the annual Christmas tree burn.
Last year's tree burn was rained out and there was some talk of canceling this year's event due to the recent devastation from the Thomas Fire.
In the end tradition won out to the delight of a large crowd that gathered for the event.
Hundreds of people swarmed to the large field next to Mission Santa Ines for the tree burn.
It was a festive atmosphere all around from the start with live music, plenty of good food to eat with coffee and hot chocolate.
Under the watchful eyes of Santa Barbara County firefighters, hundreds of Christmas trees were set alight in massive bonfire to demonstrate the danger of a dried-out tree as well as maintain the traditional end to Solvang's Danish Julefest celebration.
"This is a big event for Solvang", said Santa Barbara County Fire Department information officer Mike Eliason, "this is their 30 th annual event and we're proud to be a part of it and help get the community message of safety out to the public."
The flames quickly engulfed the pile of trees generating plenty of heat to warm the large crowd that stood in amazement at the pyre that lit up the night sky.
Santa Barbara County firefighters remained on scene and extinguished the fire with water some three hours after it started.