Thousands more evacuated in California, USA

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

On October 22, 2007, NASA satellites continued to capture remarkable new images of the wildfires raging in Southern California.

Nearly 330,000 people in San Diego County, California located in the United States are being ordered to evacuate after massive wildfires started to spread and grow. As a result, U.S. President George W. Bush has declared a state of emergency in California clearing the way for 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.

This pair of images, depicting the area around Los Angeles on October 21, 2007, shows just how quickly the fires grew.

Almost 1,500 houses have been burned to ashes and fires continue to threaten nearly 60,000 more. Firefighters now fear that the fires could merge into one giant blaze if the Santa Ana Winds continue sending close to if not over 500,000 people running for safety. One person has died as a result of the fires with 42 injured. 16 of those are reported to be firefighters who were battling the blazes.

"It will not end ... until it reaches the ocean or the winds turn around," said San Diego County Fire Battalion Chief, Bruce Cartelli. At least 13 wildfires have burned more than 356,000 acres (142,400 hectares) in areas stretching from San Diego, near the border with Mexico, to Malibu, near Los Angeles.

Air Station Miramar for the U.S. Air Force is also being evacuated with the base's planes and other military equipment being transported away from the raging fires to Arizona and places far north of the fires in California.