Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Bonfire Blamed for Santa Barbara Wildfire

Authorities say a bonfire built by a group of young adults is what sparked a massive wildfire in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Tuesday 10 people had gathered at the tea garden where the fire originated. About 13 hours after they'd left, the wildfire broke out. The group believed the bonfire had been put out before they left.

An anonymous tip led to the discovery.

The fire was the first of three blazes to erupt in Southern California in the last week.

More than two dozen people were injured in the Santa Barbara fire, including a Montecito couple who remained in critical condition Tuesday at the University of California, Irvine, Medical Center.

The blaze consumed nearly 2,000 acres and destroyed 210 homes.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.