Californian firefighters battle inferno - and fatigue

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By Euronews
Californian firefighters battle inferno - and fatigue

Wildfires continue to rage out of control in southern California, with the latest one sweeping through San Diego County, where the governor has declared a state of emergency.

Firefighters are being stretched to the limit, into their fifth day battling the blazes. Some 6,000 personnel are fighting both fires and fatigue.

Since Monday (Dec. 4), six large blazes have erupted from Los Angeles up the Pacific coast to Santa Barbara County.

The flames have destroyed at least 500 structures and forced the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people. Schools and casinos are being used as shelters.

Gusty winds blowing in from the California desert, combined with extremely dry conditions, are expected to fan the flames throughout the weekend.

On the ground, NBC News reporter Miguel Almaguer says poor visibility is also a problem: walls of smoke and downpours of embers are making it difficult for firefighters to track the flames.

It's not yet known what started the fire in San Diego County, but high winds caused it to hopscotch even across highways.