Fire Destroys 100 Homes, Injures 4 In SoCal Town

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Fire crews are working feverishly to push back a wind-whipped wildfire that has destroyed at least 100 homes and a college dormitory in upscale Montecito, California.

About 500 firefighters are trying to stop the flames from marching farther west to dense neighborhoods in Santa Barbara, to the northwest.

About 5,400 homes have been evacuated, and officials say more people could be forced out if the fire spreads. Four people have been hurt.

About 200 people spent the night at an evacuation center at a high school in nearby Goleta (goh-LEE'-tuh).

A county spokeswoman says the "best guess" is that 100 or more homes have been destroyed. She says it's hard to know for sure because efforts right now are focused on protecting the remaining homes.

The fire broke out late yesterday and has rapidly spread to nearly 4 square miles.

Fire officials plan an aggressive attack from the air this morning with the help of nine water-dropping helicopters and 10 air tankers.

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