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Man arrested on arson charge for brush fire which prompted evacuation warning in Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County Fire Department
A man has been arrested on an arson charge in connection with a brush fire in Goleta.

Fire causes scare in Goleta, but no homes damaged.

A man has been arrested on an arson charge for a brush fire which prompted an evacuation warning for some South Coast residents.

Santa Barbara County firefighters were called to Goleta just after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday by reports of a brush fire south of Ward Avenue. The area is just north of Goleta Beach.

They found a fire near a bike path. It grew to just under ten acres. An evacuation warning was issued for some nearby homes. But the more than 80 firefighters called out to help were able to protect the houses, with no damage reported.

When Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies reached the scene Wednesday night, witnesses say they saw a man behaving suspiciously in the area. They spotted, and detained Jose Martin Alvarez-Castro. After questioning, the 30-year-old Santa Barbara man was arrested for arson, as well as for two misdemeanor charges.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.