Thousands more homes are now at risk as a wildfire in California continues to rage out of control.
The massive blaze tearing through the mountains north of Los Angeles has forced firefighters to retreat. With no quick improvement expected, California’s Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has urged people to respect the state’s evacuation order. “People think they have to stay behind to protect their property but sometimes they pay dearly for that,” he said. More than 6,000 homes throughout the fire zone are under evacuation orders as the fire has more than doubled its size since Sunday – charring some 42,000 hectares. Despite the dangers some residents are determined to tough it out as long as they can. “We have an 80-year-old mother who’s pretty sick and we don’t want to have to take her. But we will if houses start burning then obviously we’re out of here. But right now, no homes have burned so that’s why we’re staying,” said Bill Marshall, who is waiting although he has received order to move out. With no forecast for an immediate break in the soaring temperatures and very low humidity that’s fuelling the fire, officials have pushed back their projected date for full containment of the blaze by one week to September 15.