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High winds whip fire near Santa Barbara

High winds whip fire near Santa Barbara
A firefighter faces off one of more then 100 homes destroyed is engulfed in flames, after a wildfire burned through in the Montecito area of Santa Barbara County, California on November 14, 2008. A wind-driven brush fire in Southern California has gutted scores of luxury homes and injured 13 people in the seaside celebrity enclave of Montecito, officials said on Friday. (UPI Photo/Jim Ruymen) | License Photo

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., May 7 (UPI) -- A wildfire raged out of control near Santa Barbara, Calif., Thursday, forcing 13,000 residents to flee and destroying at least 20 homes, fire officials said.

Wildfires also burned in Arizona near the Mexican border, injuring one person and destroying three homes, officials said.

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The Jesusita fire in Santa Barbara County, fueled by high temperatures and low humidity, engulfed mansions in foothills of the tony coastal community, CNN reported. The fire remained uncontrolled late Thursday afternoon, KFSN-TV reported.

"When it's really high winds, our helicopters can't fly because of the erratic winds, smoke conditions, and also, the fixed wings also can't fly," Capt. David Sadecki of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department said.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Wednesday in Santa Barbara County.

An emergency shelter was set up at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, while residents could take large animals to the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

In Arizona, the National Forest Service reported fire scorched about 4,000 acres near Sierra Vista, destroying three homes and sending one resident to the hospital with third-degree burns, CNN said.

Three smaller fires in the area were largely or fully contained, fire officials said.

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