Fireteams are battling wildfires in northern California which have already forced 10,000 people to flee their homes. Lightning has ignited about 40 blazes in the area around the foothills of the Sierra Nevada over the past fortnight. About 15 of them are still raging.
People living in the town of Paradise are being threatened again. Last month, 74 homes were destroyed by a separate wildfire.
One resident said: “I am worried. I don’t know what’s going on right now. We haven’t heard anything and I’m just afraid that if it goes tree-top to tree-top, I think Paradise would be toast.”
Another added: “If it was me, I’d probably stay as long as I could to protect my home, that’s the way I am. My wife might say something different, but for me that’s how it would be. I have to see the flames coming right down on top of me before I leave.”
California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has written to the President asking for more equipment and personnel to deal with the wildfires that have gripped the state over the past two weeks.