The wildfire season has arrived early this season in California, with firefighters now going into their fourth day of battle against the so-called Jesusita fire that’s threatening the seaside town of Santa Barbara.
Eleven firefighters have been injured tackling the blaze, which has forced the evacuation of an estimated 30 000 residents. Some 75 homes have been destroyed by the fire, whose origins are as yet unknown. Evacuation shelters have been set up for those unable to find accommodation for themselves. Santa Barbara with its idyllic seaside climate is known as a home for the rich and famous, with whole neighbourhoods of multimillion dollar mansions. But to the north it also has several densely populated mobile home parks, and this is one of the areas most under threat. Changing winds have hampered efforts to contain the blaze.