Image: Two men fish in the Pacific Ocean
Dan Steinberg  /  AP
Two men fish in the Pacific Ocean as a wildfire rages in the hills of Santa Barbara, Calif. on Tuesday.
updated 5/5/2009 9:25:46 PM ET 2009-05-06T01:25:46

Authorities in Southern California have ordered about 1,200 homes to evacuate because of a wind-driven wildfire burning in Santa Barbara County.

Fire Capt. David Sadecki says the blaze, which erupted Tuesday afternoon, is burning less than a square mile along the foothills above Santa Barbara. He says winds are pushing the fire toward homes.

Evacuations have been ordered for neighborhoods spanning an area about 2 1/2 miles wide, and part of State Route 192 has been closed.

County spokesman William Boyer says an evacuation center has been set up at a church. Other evacuation centers have been established for animals.

County and city firefighters are being aided by helicopters.

The National Weather Service says southwest winds are blowing at 14 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

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