Monday, October 22, 2007

Seems it never rains in Southern California

Latest from AP:

Fast-moving wildfires roared across California on Monday and engulfed large swaths of San Diego County, where 250,000 people were told to evacuate as state officials called in National Guard troops.

More than a dozen fires, driven by gale-force winds, burned out of control across the drought-stricken southern half of the state, quickly charring about 200,000 acres, killing one person and injuring a number of others.

Southern California is in the midst of its driest year on record after rainfall just a fifth of average levels.

Scores of homes were believed to have been destroyed, but the full extent of damage was not known because dense smoke and high winds limited aerial surveillance.

Gusts of up to 75 mph (121 kph) prevented firefighters from using fixed-wing aircraft to battle the blazes, said state Fire Chief Bill Metcalf.

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