1,000,000 flee homes in California due to wildfires; over 500,000 ordered to evacuate

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

NOAA image of fires in San Diego County, C.A. on October 23, 2007.
NASA images of the fires on October 22

Reports say that the amount of people fleeing from their homes in California located in the United States due to wildfires has reached the 1,000,000 mark as the fires continue to grow. More than 500,000 people have been ordered to evacuate areas of Southern California as firefighters have began to realize that they may not be able to put all the fires out.

45 people have been injured, 21 of those being firefighters battling the blazes. At least one person was reported to have been killed earlier, but so far those reports cannot be confirmed.

"If it's this big and blowing with as much wind as it's got, it'll go all the way to the ocean before it stops ... We can save some stuff but we can't stop it," said captain of the San Diego fire department, Kirk Humphries.

Yesterday, U.S. President George W. Bush declared a state of emergency in California, clearing the way for the state to begin receiving federal aid assistance.

"All of us across this nation are concerned for the families who have lost their homes and the many families who have been evacuated from their homes. We send the help of the federal government," said Bush in a statement to the press.

The Santa Ana winds have been blowing for three days and they are not forecast to stop for the next day or so.

Close to 2,000 homes are burned to ashes and nearly 70,000 more are believed to be at a high risk of catching fire. Almost 400,000 acres of land have been scorched with 18 fires burning.