Winds Subside for Now

Governor Expected This Morning

Thursday, May 7, 2009

While several homes were destroyed on Mission Canyon, Tunnel Road, and Spyglass Ridge areas yesterday and last night, winds have died down this morning and for the present at least, there appears to be more smoke than flame in those densely populated, high fuel areas. Officials would not estimate how many homes were lost.

Reporter Ethan Stewart, in the affected residential areas this morning, said his initial impression is that previous estimates, that approximately 20 homes burned, are conservative.

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Santa Barbara County Fire Captain David Sadecki told KEYT that the same kind of weather is expected today as yesterday, that is, winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 mph.

During a lull in the winds yesterday, hand crews have been able to begin building a fire line between the fire and the unburned fuel, Sadecki said, allowing strike crews to move in. A total of 1300 fire department personnel are on the scene. Eight fixed-wing aircraft are on hand to drop retardant lines. Eight helicoptors will continue to douse the fire, as they did throughout the night.

A total of 500 acres have burned.

Governor Schwarzenegger is expected to arrive this morning before the 9 a.m. press conference at Earl Warren Showgrounds.

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