There’s no letup in sight for the massive wildfires engulfing southern California. A state of emergency is in force. An estimated 600 homes have been destroyed in the inferno. Some 300,000 people have been evacuated from neighbourhoods, schools and hospitals. At least 13 fires whipped by dry, gale-force winds have been blowing unchecked over the lower part of the state.
At San Diego’s Qualcomm football stadium where many people have been taken to escape the blaze,California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spelled out some of the measures being taken to help evacuees: “We were concerned about making sure that all the people had everything they need. We were concerned , do we have enough cots down there, do we have enough blankets, do we have enough food, do we have the water, do we have the baby formulas, do we have the diapers, do we have enough toilet paper, do we have enough toilets? Do we have everything we need for the people here so they can stay overnight here, because almost 300,000 people have been evacuated.”
Schwarzenegger says 1,500 National Guard troops have been called into action to help with firefighting, evacuations and crowd control. At the Pentagon,The Department of Defense has confirmed it is sending six aircraft capable of dropping massive amounts of water or fire retardant. Tens of thousands of hecatres have already been laid waste as the fires continue to spread, threatening homes, properties and people. According to local media reports, parts of neighbouring Mexico are being affected by the raging fires.