Dogs were barking and some residents were woken up on the Montecito Coastline when a professional-style fireworks show exploded into the skies without warning around 9:40 P.M. Thursday night.
The show, which could be seen for miles, had numerous shells projected into the skies.
The sound reverberated into Santa Barbara and Mission Canyon, triggering phone calls to authorities and fire agencies.
Some passersby said that they saw the fireworks coming from a boat or barge off the coast of Butterfly Beach in Montecito, which appeared to be in connection with a scheduled event nearby.
Permits in advance are required for this type of fireworks show, but it's unclear if public notices are also necessary.