California’s governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has called in the National Guard to help fight wildfires burning out of control. President Bush has also offered federal aid after the fires destroyed more than a thousand homes, and forced more than 300 thousand people to flee.
The long dry spell, parched vegetation and hot Santa Ana winds mean the flames burn with frightening speed and power. Many people have found shelter in San Diego’s American football stadium. They admit it’s been terrifying, but most are still optimistic.
Wildfires aren’t freak events in California. The so-called “fire season” usually begins in early summer, and burns through to the end of October. However, with so little rainfall over recent times, firefighters warn the threat is now there all year round.