Santa Barbara, Ventura County Fires Contained

Jim Murray, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Reporter, jim.murray@keyt.com
POSTED: 10:26 PM PST Nov 14, 2013    UPDATED: 05:14 PM PST Nov 15, 2013 

Unseasonably high temperatures and unpredictable winds made November feel like the middle of summer for firefighters.  A late Thursday afternoon fire in an empty lot off Puerto Road in Goleta threatened several homes and had residents fearing the worst.  Firefighters were quick to act and were able to extinguish the fire before anything was damaged.

"We hit this hard because we didn't want to risk it becoming bigger.  We know how dangerous the conditions are," said Capt. David Sadecki of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Investigators said the fire was started by someone smoking marijuana in the empty field.  Several local residents voiced concerns that the brush needs to be better managed in the empty lot.

Sharon Bradley, who just got into town from Washington, said "the fire was hot, it was scary.  I saw the smoke but wasn't sure what was going on until the UPS guy told me."

In Ventura County, a fire in Wheeler Canyon blackened 60 acres of land.  120 firefighters were assigned to battle the blaze.  Two firefighters were injured and residents were given a voluntary evacuation notice.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but firefighters used everything at their disposal to get the upper hand on the blaze.  They were able to fully contain it by Friday evening.

"We used air support, planes, helicopters to make sure that we could get a handle on this," said Eduardo Ornelas with Ventura County Fire.