This sounds terrible!
Any further developments? (this report was hours ago, Oz time)
Any A2Kers affected?:
Last Update: Saturday, July 15, 2006. 6:17pm (AEST)
Wildfires form massive California blaze
Inferno: The blaze has raged behind the Morongo Casino in the hills north of Cabazon, California. (Reuters)
Thousands of firefighters are battling a huge inferno in the southern California high desert, hours after two wildfires merged.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the blaze is advancing on the Joshua Tree National Park, a wooded mountainous region, after roaring through nearly 69,000 acres and destroying hundreds of buildings.
"The two fires are together since [Friday] afternoon," department spokeswoman Kristel Johnson said.
"The larger of the two fires has burned 59,000 acres and was 30 per cent contained.
"The smaller fire had burned 10,000 acres, mostly at higher elevations and is still 5 per cent contained."
The two vast fires east of Los Angeles have merged in the heart of the San Bernardino National Park, where acres of dry wood weakened by years of drought have provided a ready-made tinderbox.
Rough terrain, strong winds and high, dry heat have made it difficult for firefighters to battle the blazes. ... <cont>