SOLYMONE BLOG

FIRE RIPS THROUGH SANTA BARBARA NEIGHBORHOODS


SANTA BARBARA, Californea: Winds swirled and homes of all sizes burned as a wildfire descended on this scenic coastal city amid hot, dry conditions that resembled late summer more than the middle of spring.
Firefighters had a brief respite of moderate breezes early Thursday, but expected another day of heat, gusts and potential destruction as they took on a blaze that had swelled to 500 acres and forced the evacuation of more than 5,000 homes.
TV news helicopters showed at least a dozen homes ablaze as night fell, but authorities had no immediate estimate of how many had been destroyed.
Huge mansions and humble homes alike were reduced to rubble, leaving palm trees swaying over gutted ruins. Aerial footage showed five or more luxury homes burning along one crest-top road, and many flare-ups dotting the residential hills were apparently burning homes.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency, and the National Weather Service issued a "Red Flag" warning for fire danger, predicting strong wind danger through Friday morning.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department spokesman Drew Sugars said 5,430 homes were under mandatory evacuation. The estimated population of those homes was 13,575 people, he said.
Courty:
Fox News
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