Fight resumes against fire that threatened campers
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) -- Air tankers were expected to resume their attack Tuesday on a wildfire that sent thousands of campers fleeing the mountains near Santa Barbara over the holiday weekend.
The 1,200-acre blaze was 10 percent contained, and witnesses said it was moving away from populated areas.
Winds in the area were expected to be 10 to 20 mph.
The fire broke out Monday afternoon in Los Padres National Forest about 15 miles north of Santa Barbara. At its peak it threatened about 50 homes, mainly cabins and vacation rentals.
Authorities also evacuated an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 Memorial Day campers.
The blaze burned a U.S. Forest Service garage and two vehicles, and sent a huge plume of gray and white smoke over the mountains.
The American Red Cross set up an evacuation center at Santa Barbara City College, and another was set up for horses stalled in the area's many stables.
U.S. Forest Service firefighters got help from crews from around the region, along with water drops from two helicopters and four planes, though the aircraft had to be grounded at times because of winds.
To the south, a fire in the wilderness in San Diego County scorched 900 acres of dry brush but was not a threat to homes or buildings.
The blaze southeast of Julian was sparked around midday Sunday and was 43 percent contained Monday night. Fire officials were investigating whether it was set intentionally.