Dry conditions and fierce Santa Ana winds (dry desert winds) have resulted in several uncontrollable fires across Southern California. The fires, which are ravaging the coastline all the way from San Diego to Malibu, have burnt through thousands of acres, destroying many homes and commercial properties.
Firefighters are overwhelmed and say they lack the resources to save many of the homes that are in danger. Additionally, the fierce Santa Ana winds show no signs of abating and are expected to be high for at least another two days.
San Diego is the worst hit, with over 1,500 homes and businesses burnt down and over half-a-million people evacuated. Residents are spending nights in shelters, community halls and even in parking lots. The Qualcomm Ball Park, usually home to the San Diego Chargers, is the county’s largest evacuation center, with thousands of people living there.
Though help from Northern California is on the way, firefighters believe there is little that can be done until the winds die down. It is not clear what started the fires in San Diego. The fires in Malibu are believed to have been started by downed power lines, while those in Orange County are thought to be an act of arson.
Amazingly, there have so far been very few casualties. Only one man has died, while forty two people including sixteen firefighters, are being treated for injuries.