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California in Brief / GILROY

Governor at site of Santa Cruz fire

May 24, 2008|From the Associated Press

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the Santa Cruz Mountains on Friday to assess the damage from a wildfire that chewed through centuries-old redwoods and pushed hundreds out of their homes.

Calmer winds and heavy fog Friday morning brought much-needed relief to firefighters, who had contained more than 20% of the blaze. But as the marine layer lifted and the gusts picked up in the afternoon, crews struggled to maintain the fire lines.

The fire had burned about 3,100 acres and destroyed 30 structures, including 10 homes, officials said. An additional 600 were threatened Thursday and Friday.

About 1,400 residents remained under evacuation orders Friday -- more than 300 of them mandatory -- while more than 1,100 firefighters and a swarm of tanker planes and helicopters continued dousing the area, said Joe Waterman, an incident commander with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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