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Wildfire in California displaces 30,000

Saturday, May 9, 2009

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Jesusita Fire climbing the side of Barger (Brush) Peak; from the west
Image: Antandrus.

The recent Jesusita Fire in Santa Barbara County, California, has burned more than 8,600 acres of land over the last four days. Over 75 homes were destroyed, and more than 30,500 residents were evacuated. Another 23,000 are on standby to leave immediately when the notice comes down.

Approximately 3,500 homes along with 100 businesses are currently threatened by the blaze.

"Right now, if you are not evacuated in the Santa Barbara area, you are sheltering evacuees," said city Fire Chief Andrew DiMizio, "We saw the fire spread laterally across the top of the city and the fire front extend to almost eight kilometers now."

The firefighting crew on guard against the fire has amassed 2,300 firefighters with 246 fire engines, fourteen air tankers, fifteen helicopters as well as a DC-10 jumbo jet tanker.

There have been no reports of residents being injured, however 11 firefighters have sustained injuries battling the fire, placing three in the hospital.

The Montecito Tea Fire in 2008
Image: Edward Vielmetti.


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