Morning Winds Stoke Raging Calif. Wildfires

Firefighters unable to get blaze under control as 30,000 evacuate
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted May 8, 2009 9:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Early-morning winds kicked up the uncontrolled Jesusita fire in the hills of Santa Barbara, causing the evacuation of thousands more residents, reports the Los Angeles Times. The fire has now burned more than 2,800 acres, destroyed dozens of homes, and forced 30,000 people to evacuate. Gov. Schwarzenegger has declared an emergency, saying, “We are 100% behind the people of Santa Barbara.”

Easily ignited underbrush clogs the burning canyons, which haven’t had a wildfire in decades. “The sky is just deep orange and black, pretty much our whole hillside is going down,” a Santa Barbara resident told ABC News. Firefighters have been unable to put up containment lines, because any given position can become too dangerous on a moment’s notice.