For the third time in less than a year, a major wildfire is burning in Santa Barbara – which could be propitious political timing for Gov. Schwarzenegger and his allies pushing Proposition 1A.
About 1,200 homes were evacuated Tuesday night, a few hours after the wind-whipped Jesusita fire broke out in the drought-dry tinder of the San Roque and Mission Canyon areas above the city.
The fire ignited just one day after the governor warned that as many as 1,700 Cal Fire firefighters could be laid off if voters don’t approve his Prop. 1A budget package at the May 19 special election. The governor and his allies have also used the threat of reduced fire protection in TV ads promoting the measure.
Calbuzz World Marketing Headquarters lies about three blocks outside the evacuation warning area, and we’re listening to air tankers and helicopters drop retardant and water on the fire zone now; we won’t be surprised if Arnold, who recently bought a $4.7 million, 25-acre spread in nearby Carpinteria, turns up in the next day or two to pose with firefighters – great up-to-the-minute stuff for his next ad.
BTW, the best real time local coverage of the fire is available online from our blogroll partners at Noozhawk and the Santa Barbara Independent (where we got the photo above.)