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Santa Barbara wildfire roars into a firestorm

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Photo: Lawrence K. Ho/ Los Angeles Times

Strong winds whipped that wildfire in the foothills of Santa Barbara into a firestorm late today. The powerful winds, known as sundowners, reached 50 miles an hour and higher in some areas. Eight thousand people  were evacuated, at least 500 acres charred, and at least 20 homes have burned to the ground.

Photo: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

KNX 1070 newsradio says several firefighters have been injured; three from Ventura County were airlifted to Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks tonight. So far, no reports of civilians being hurt. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County. More details and photos on the Los Angeles Times website.

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