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UPDATE: Ward Fire now 100% contained after arson arrest

Posted at 2:47 PM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 08:24:59-05

After battling the Ward Fire since Thursday night, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department says they've contained the flames.

Sheriff's deputies arrested a man suspected of starting the Ward Fire in Goleta.

The fire broke out at around 11:40 p.m. on Wednesday in some brush off a bike path in the area of Ward Drive and More Ranch Road.

According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, witnesses reported seeing someone in the area intentionally starting the fire.

Just before midnight, sheriff's officials say deputies found a man matching the suspect's description on the bike path near Patterson Road.

Jose Martin Alvarez-Castro, 30, of Santa Barbara was arrested on suspicion of arson, obstructing a peace officer, and possession of a controlled substance.

As of Thursday afternoon, the fire was reported to be 75% contained after burning nine acres.

Dozens of firefighters remained at the scene working to extinguish the blaze.

Details about how the fire was started have not been released.