The huge brushfires which have been raging throughout Southern California show no signs of abating.?
The huge brushfires which have been raging throughout Southern California show no signs of abating. More than 10,000 people have fled from the flames near the Mexican border and 250 structures have been destroyed in the latest of blazes.
In Los Angeles County diminishing winds enabled fire-fighters to go on the offensive for the first time against a 30,000-acre (12,000 hectares) blaze in the Malibu Beach area. The firemen gouged out a firebreak parallel to the Pacific Ocean about one mile from the coast.
In all, more than 20 major fires in Southern California in the past five days have destroyed at least 600 buildings, killed three people and charred a total of 400,000 acres (160,000 hectares)
The army of firefighters includes 2,000 convicts. More than 20 firemen have been seriously burned and 500 have been treated for injuries caused by smoke. Many have had only a few hours sleep since Friday.
Police believe that arson is to blame for most of the fire. A Los Angeles Fire Department official said: "There's a firebug starting these things. He has been observed starting at least five fires." Another said that some of the fires had spread up-wind -- another indication of arson.
Several suspects have been arrested. One is said by police to have has 40 books of matches in his possession.