In California, wildfires have obliterated mobile homes and multi-million dollar mansions alike.
State Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency: “Through these emergency declarations we want to let the people know that the state is with you. We are going to help you get your homes back and your structures back and your lives back, and also the federal government is going to work with you.”
The hot, gusting winds over the weekend died down yesterday allowing firefighters to survey the damage.
Since last Thursday, more than 88 square kilometres of land in parts of Los Angeles County, Riverside and Orange County, and Santa Barbara, have been reduced to ashes.
Evacuation orders have been lifted for more than half the estimated 50,000 people who have left the area, but officials say a further 3,500 homes could still be at risk.