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Jesusita fire: Thursday Night

If Wednesday night was bad, tonight is a thousand times worse.  As I type this just after midnight ash is raining all across the city as if a volcano had exploded.  The foothills above town are completely ablaze with flames going nearly all the way to the mountain ridge at the top.  The temperature is still 80˚ (26 c) and winds gusts up to 40mph.  Huge sections of the city are now under evacuation and the fire is moving so fast.  I crossed highway 154 just prior to its closing, and an hour later, the fire had already crossed it to the west and towards Goleta.  Homes are burning.  Simply awful out there; devastating.

Jesusita fire burns in foothills above Santa Barbara, California. Thursday night, May 7, 2009

Jesusita fire burns in foothills above Santa Barbara, California. Thursday night, May 7, 2009

Jesusita fire burns in foothills above Santa Barbara, California. Thursday night, May 7, 2009

Jesusita fire burns in foothills above Santa Barbara, California. Thursday night, May 7, 2009

Schwarzenegger comes to Santa Barbara

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (I think everyone knows who he is) came to Santa Barbara this morning to give a press conference in regards to the Jesusita fire, which he declared a “state of emergency” on Wednesday evening.  The press conference was held at Earl Warren showgrounds, which is currently one of the main staging areas for firefighters who have come to the area to assist is the effort.

Thursday May 7, 2009: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger press conference on Jesusita Fire, Santa Barbara, California

Thursday May 7, 2009: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger press conference on Jesusita Fire, Santa Barbara, California

Thursday May 7, 2009: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger press conference on Jesusita Fire, Santa Barbara, California