California Wildfires Strain State's Resources

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Crews fighting a 13-square-mile fire threatening homes in Santa Barbara County have an eye on the weather this afternoon.

Cool morning weather slowed down the fire in Los Padres National
Forest but fire officials worry about late afternoon "sundowner" winds kicking up. High gusts yesterday evening caused the blaze to flare up and race right up to some homes.

No residences have been lost but nearly 2,700 homes are under evacuation and 1,400 more are in the fire's path. The blaze is 24 percent contained.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the fire command center
today. He says the fire and hundreds of others that erupted throughout California in recent weeks have strained resources.

The governor says some firefighters have gone days without sleep. He's ordered in hundreds of National Guard troops to help.

About 330 fires remain out of control in the state, including one that destroyed 20 homes in Big Sur.

That two-week-old fire has blackened 107 square miles and is only 5 percent contained.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-05-08 1744EDT

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