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'Sundowner' winds forecast in fire zone

May 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
High winds forecast for Tuesday evening could present problems for firefighters trying to get full containment of the wildfire that has been burning in Santa Barbara.As of Tuesday afternoon, the Jesusita Fire was 80 percent contained.

Cool, overcast weather in recent days has helped firefighters get control of the blaze, which destroyed 77 homes, damaged another 22, and has burned more than 8,700 acres.

However, the so-called "sundowner" winds, which have given fire crews so much trouble, were expected to kick up again Tuesday evening.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch, starting at 6 p.m. in southern Santa Barbara County. If the winds do not cause significant flare-ups, fire officials expect to have full containment of the fire by Wednesday.

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