California Blaze a 'Gorilla'

Firefighters face long, exhausting season
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2008 3:00 AM CDT
A firefighting air tanker drops fire retardant as a brush fire burns out of control in the Santa Ynez Mountains.    (AP Photo/Phil Klein)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A wildfire in California's Santa Barbara County grew by another 700 acres in addition to 10,000 acres already charred as teams of exhausted firefighters continued to battle the fast-moving blaze. The Gap fire is a priority among the 1,781 blazes which have raged in the state over the last two weeks, reports the Los Angeles Times.

"This is still a gorilla," said an operations manager. "We have a lot of work to do on it and a lot of bad country to work in. It's just one step at a time. The bigger concern is how early this season started in California." Officials are particularly concerned about a central coast heat wave expected to strike tomorrow.