Outlook Grim for Calif. Fire as Winds Continue
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2009 3:58 PM CDT
A Forest Service firefighter yesterday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Poor firefighting conditions today—following a windy night—have allowed the Santa Barbara, Calif., wildfire to grow, and it has now consumed 3,500 acres and 75 homes, KNBC-TV reports. The fire, which has forced 30,000 people to flee their homes, is just 10% contained. Winds today are expected to reach 65 mph, with high temperatures and low humidity that could continue to hamper efforts.

“It really got going during the night. Some areas have 45-year fuel. The wind is all over the place,” said one firefighter, who noted that, “for this time of year, this activity is unusual.” Firefighters did manage to cut off the fire from the city center, though it was a pitched battle. “The fire was threatening the city directly,” the fire chief said. “Last night, all hell broke loose.”