California wildfires

Published: Friday 30 November 2007

Fire fighters drawing the fire (Credit: FEMA)Wildfires that began on October 21 in California, usa, continue to burn southern parts of the state.

Known as the deadliest of California blazes, the wildfires have ravaged thousands of hectares of vegetation and 2,000 houses in the state, leading to 640,000 evacuations. Five southern Californian counties are the worst hit, with property damages estimated up to us $1 billion in San Diego county alone. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered firefighters to prepare for renewed wildfires ahead of powerful Santa Ana winds forecast for next few weeks.

Meanwhile, environmentalists say, California wildfires has pumped nearly 8 million tonnes of co2 into the atmosphere in just a week--a quarter of the emissions from fossil fuels in a month. The fire was first blamed on downed power lines, but investigations later pointed to arson. Some reports ascribed the blaze to a child's carelessness.

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