California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in response to a fire that has forced thousands of people to evacuate in Santa Barbara County.
The governor’s emergency declaration authorizes state agencies to provide help in the firefight and recovery and follows the county’s own declaration of a local state of emergency just a few hours earlier.
“The Office of Emergency Services shall provide local government assistance to Santa Barbara County, if appropriate, under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act,” the governor said in his declaration.
Some 3,200 residents have been evacuated and 20 structures damaged or destroyed as the so-called Holiday Fire continues to burn in Goleta.
"The Holiday Fire is causing conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the County of Santa Barbara," the county said in a news release.
Firefighters responded to the blaze Friday night in the 1500 block of Holiday Hill Road. As of Saturday morning, the fire had burned between 50 and 80 acres and was only 5 percent contained.
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A Red Cross center was opened at Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave.