Crews work to douse Calif. fire after it destroyed 77 homes
Monday, May 11th 2009, 12:02 pm
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) -- Fire crews in California are closing in around a 13-square-mile blaze in Santa Barbara County that swallowed up nearly 80 homes and forced tens of thousands to flee.
About 400 people are still waiting to return home as crews bury smoldering debris and carve containment lines. The fire is 65 percent contained after several days of cool, calm weather. An early morning fog that seeped into the area is expected to burn off later today.
Officials say it appears the blaze was ignited by someone using a power tool to clear brush last Tuesday. They're asking for the public's help in identifying the person responsible. Authorities have not said if they plan to charge that person.