California Wildfires

According to the latest stats from CNN:

  • Story Highlights
  • 3,000 Marines evacuated at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego
  • Defense Department firefighting teams fighting the blazes, official says
  • President Bush is set to visit Southern California on Thursday
  • More than a half-million people evacuated in San Diego County alone
  • The blazes have charred 400,000 acres and reduced 1,300 homes — 1,000 in San Diego County — to ash.
  • The fires have killed one person and injured more than 50
  • By Tuesday night, officials had evacuated nearly 350,000 homes in San Diego County. Using U.S. Census Bureau numbers from the 2000 census, that could mean as many as 950,000 were affected by the fires.
  • In San Diego County, at least 513,000 residents had been ordered to find refuge in shelters, schools and stadiums as fires pushed into new areas.In San Diego County, at least 513,000 residents had been ordered to find refuge in shelters, schools and stadiums as fires pushed into new areas.
  • President Bush will visit the area Thursday, the White House said. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff arrived in San Diego on Tuesday afternoon.
  • Chertoff promised a different federal reaction from the one in New Orleans in 2005.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency delivered 25,000 cots early Tuesday.
  • Free newspapers were available, National Guard troops kept watch, ventriloquists and balloon artists entertained kids, and even massage therapists were trying to help the 12,000 to 15,000 evacuees relax as they fretted about the fate of their homes.
  • California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has already called up 1,500 National Guard troops, including more than 200 taken from border duty to help with supplies and security
  • Eighteen firefighters have been injured in the blazes, according to Schwarzenegger, who said Tuesday that he was "heartbroken" after touring the Lake Arrowhead area where the Grass Valley and Slide fires have burned 5,000 acres and destroyed more than 200 homes.
  • Officials said the crisis is far from over.
  • "It will not end … until it reaches the ocean or the winds turn around," San Diego Fire Battalion Chief Bruce Cartelli said Tuesday
  • source:

    personal note: it goes without saying that my heart goes out to these people. My thoughts and prayers are with them. What an incredibly horrible thing to happen.


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