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Santa Barbara Fire Burns Nearly 9,000 Acres

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Santa Barbara Fire Burns Nearly 9,000 Acres

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Within approximately four days, the Jesusita Fire near Santa Barbara, Calif., injured 28 firefighters, forced 30,000 people to evacuate, destroyed 77 homes and buildings, damaged 22 others, scorched more than 8,700 acres—and cost $9 million to fight.

An estimated 4,500 firefighters fought the wildfires in Los Padres National Forest, establishing containment lines north of Santa Barbara, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, authorities shut down sections of three roads and a highway.

Emergency officials, who say the fire started near the Jesusita trail, suspect that sparks from a power tool used to clear undergrowth ignited the blaze. Gusts of wind up to 50 mph helped spread the flames through high, dry brush.

“The fire exploded last week with a combination of temperatures above 100 degrees, extremely low humidity and high afternoon winds that sent flames racing down canyons and into residential neighborhoods” (USA Today).

About six months earlier, the Montecito Tea Fire, which also burned near Santa Barbara, destroyed about 200 area homes.

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