Fog has allowed firefighters to make significant progress on the Jesusita fire near Santa Barbara, California. A more refined count on structures burned resulted in the new figures of 31 77 homes and 2 detached garages being destroyed, and 47 22 other homes being damaged (CalFire changed their numbers). About 8,733 acres have burned and the 4,543 personnel assigned to the fire have achieved 55% containment.
All but the residents of 140 parcels have been allowed to return to their homes as mandatory evacuation orders are being lifted.
UPDATE @ 7:40 a.m. PT, May 11
The fire is 65% contained. According to InciWeb:
With the influence of the fog the fire continues to lay down. No significant fire growth. Foothill Road (HWY 192) opened at 1000 today while HWY 154 remains closed. Some areas on the West side of the fire remain evacuated. Repopulation has occurred resulting in 90% of the evacuated area able to return home.
Joe Waterman, the Incident Commander for the fire, said investigators have concluded that the fire was caused by someone using a power tool to clear brush. The fire started near the Jesusita trail.
Los Angeles County supervising fire dispatcher Art Marrujo said a private weed abatement crew was using machinery to clear brush when a spark from their equipment started the fire. Other reports said the device being used was a weed wacker.