Southern California wildfires

CNN reports that nearly 265,000 have evacuated from Southern California, which is currently being ravaged by wildfires:

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) — More than a dozen uncontained wildfires raged Monday across Southern California, threatening thousands of structures and forcing people to flee homes from San Diego to Malibu to Lake Arrowhead.

Fire officials said more than 265,000 people have been evacuated and nearly 4,900 firefighters are battling the fast-moving blazes, which began over the weekend.

By Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention had reported 13 active wildfires have consumed more than 98,000 acres and destroyed or damaged at least 50 homes and businesses across six counties.

The winds driving the flames are expected to stay strong, coming out of the northeast, at least through Tuesday, according to CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano.

“It’s a tragic time for California,” California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said earlier Monday.

He declared a state of emergency in seven counties and asked the National Guard to pull 800 soldiers from patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border to help battle the wildfires.

Here’s one San Diegan’s description of what he’s seeing. Included is a link to video of a local reporter reporting on the loss of his own home due to the fires.

The AP reports that there are at least 14 fires currently raging in Southern Cal:

Here are NASA satellite photos of the area.

Just a sad, sad situation all around. Please keep ’em in your thoughts and prayers.

Update I: Dale Franks at QandO isn’t far from where the fires are and files this report. And John Hawkins notes that the DUers are blaming – who else? – President Bush for the wildfires.

Update II: Fox News’ Adam Housley is on the scene as well, and has several reports. Just keep scrolling.

Update III: Good post up from Michelle Malkin on how environmental obstructionism contributed to the wildfires.

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