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Churches open doorsin fire-wracked CA

Churches across southern California opened their doors to evacuees as deadly wildfires continued to rage in southern California.

BY DISASTER NEWS NETWORK | BALTIMORE | October 26, 2003

Churches across southern California opened their doors to evacuees as deadly wildfires continued to rage in southern California.

Clergy were working with national faith-based disaster response groups, Church World Service, and the Southern California Ecumenical Council to plan a response that could help meet both emergency and long-term needs.

Salvation Army crews and American Red Cross teams were partnering with local churches set up as overnight shelters.

By Sunday evening, 14 people were dead and 650 homes were burned as 70-mph Santa Ana winds fanned the flames.

The high winds were preventing use of two key firefighting tools air tanker drops of flame retardant and backfires. The area is vulnerable to fires because a prolonged drought and a bark beetle infestation have left many dry, dead trees.

Some 264,000 acres had burned by Sunday night.

In the suburbs of San Bernardino, 50 miles east of Los Angeles, a 50,000-acre fire burned through four towns and destroyed more than 300 homes. Homes were also burning at Crestline in the San Bernardino National Forest.

The largest fire 100,000 acres was in eastern San Diego County.

Another 3,000-acre fire near San Diego destroyed 36 homes and threatened homes in northeastern Escondido.

In and around San Diego, at least 150 homes have been destroyed or damaged, according to reports from the San Diego police.

Another 47,000-acre fire on the outskirts of Los Angeles County threatened 2,000 homes.

Fire also forced the evacuation of a Federal Aviation Administration control center in San Diego, which caused flight delays nationwide. Airlines canceled some flights into the region.


Related Topics:

Neighborhoods face fire rebuilding

Impact of CA fires may be long-term

Survivors struggle, help others


More links on Wildfires

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