Huge California wildfire spreads overnight as crews dig in

Huge California wildfire spreads overnight as crews dig inBy Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Firefighters battled on Saturday to gain control of a destructive wildfire burning near Santa Barbara, California that mushroomed in size overnight, pushed by gusty offshore winds into dry brush that has not burned in decades. The Whittier Fire, which broke out July 8 and has already destroyed eight homes, had been more than 50 percent contained on Friday before so-called “Sundowner” winds picked up in the evening, according to a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) website. Nearly 3,000 people who were forced to flee their homes near Cachuma Lake and the community of Goleta remained under evacuation orders as fire officials said another evening of Sundowners could drive the flames toward populated areas.



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