A grass area at the North Campus Open Space, west of West Campus Family Housing, was set on fire this afternoon, encompassing an area of 50 by 50 yards of vegetation before it was put out by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. The suspect of the arson fled the scene on a bicycle, witnesses said.

Emily Yoon / Daily Nexus

According to a UC Santa Barbara timely warning emailed at 4:56 p.m., the UCSB Police Department is looking for a male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black neck gaiter covering his face. The alleged suspect rode a black bicycle with a skateboard attached to the front handlebars, which witnesses said he fled the scene on, heading westbound toward Ellwood.

This is the second report of arson this month after several unresolved small exterior fires occurred around Isla Vista and Goleta from July 2-3, which left behind minor building damage at 6711 El Colegio Road and a burnt picnic table at the Storke Family Housing community garden. 

This also follows two other fires at Storke Family Housing on March 12, which also left a burnt picnic table at the community garden and June 9, which left a burnt trampoline at the Family Housing Playground. The timely warning said it is unknown if these incidents are connected to the West Campus arson.

The Nexus will continue to report on this topic as more information becomes available.


Anushka Ghosh Dastidar
Anushka Ghosh Dastidar (she/her) is the Lead News Editor for the 2024-25 school year. Previously, Ghosh Dastidar was the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2023-24 school year and the Assistant News Editor for the 2022-2023 school year. She can be reached at anushkagd@dailynexus.com or news@dailynexus.com.