The latest stats on the Tea fire in Santa Barbara County stand at 2,500 acres burned, more than 100 homes destroyed, and more than 1,800 news items that mention Oprah Winfrey. (But wait, there's more! Apparently Oprah interviewed Rob Lowe about helping neighbors escape the fire.)
Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency for Santa Barbara County, and the first death has been reported. A 98-year-old man with existing health problems has died after being evacuated from his home. In addition, a reported 16 people have been hospitalized with injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to burns.
Dusk is falling and with it comes the deadly serious question: Will the same Sundowner winds that swiftly turned a five-acre brush fire into a full-on inferno return? Firefighters from throughout the state have responded to the blaze and more are on alert. Guy McCarthy has more info about this weekend's red flag warnings on his Watershed News. Check the Times' fire coverage here. Also in Bloomberg, WSJ, and the SBFD web site.
Photo: Jonathan Alcorn / Used by permission