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South Coast City Grappling With Brush Fires Triggered By Homeless Camps; Coronavirus Complicates It

(Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
A July 3rd brush fire in Goleta which firefighters say was triggered by a homeless camp.

Officials with a South Coast city say they are trying to do something about a rash of brush fire started by homeless camps, but coronavirus concerns are complicating the efforts.

There have been two blazes during the last two weeks attributed to campsites between Fairview Avenue, and Los Carneros Road in Goleta.  No structures were damaged, but City of Goleta officials say they understand the concern among nearby residents and business owners.

City officials say in the past, they would just move to clear the encampments.  But, because of coronavirus concerns, health officials are cautioning against the action, because it can potentially spread the virus.

The city is working on efforts to clear some of the brush along the Highway 101 corridor. It’s also working with law enforcement officers on increasing awareness about the brush fire issue among those living in the camps.