The harrowing Santa Barbara fire has driven 30,500 residents from their homes and now occupies a five-mile stretch between the towns of Goleta and Montecito. The evacuees have crowded into hotels, friends’ homes, and shelters to escape the blaze. Eighty homes in the wealthy enclave have been destroyed so far, and anywhere from 3,500 to 8,600 acres have been burned. The almost-broke state of California has now spent $3.2 million battling the blaze, but as of late Friday night, the fire was contained by only 10 percent. Firefighters are trying to limit the fire to the canyon—if it spreads any farther east, it will head towards Goleta, and any farther west, it will end up in the heavily wooded area of Painted Creek. “This is where they better make for damn sure it doesn’t go farther,” one Forest Service officer said.
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