Wildfires Force Evacuation of 250,000+ California Residents - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Wildfires Force Evacuation of 250,000+ California Residents

Wildfires Force Evacuation of 250,000+ California Residents Wildfires Force Evacuation of 250,000+ California Residents

Malibu, Ca. Oct. 22, 2007 -- A large portion of southern California is being consumed by massive wildfires.

Nearly a dozen wildfires stretching from Santa Barbara to the Mexico border have forced at least 250,000 San Diego County residents to evacuate their homes.

Dozens of multi-million dollar homes, businesses and even a castle have fallen victim to the fires.

In just one day, more than 35,000 acres went up in flames throughout southern California.

Some 40 homes have been lost and at least one person is dead.

It all began in the ultra-exclusive beachside community of Malibu around five o'clock Sunday morning.

Fire is an all too familiar threat in Malibu, which has lost more than 500 homes in the past three decades.

This time, downed power lines may have started the blaze.

Gusts of up to 50 miles an hour whipped through the canyons near Pepperdine University, destroying a church, a castle and eight other buildings.

Nine other homes were damaged and 1,500 people have been told to evacuate.

Another fire that broke out Sunday afternoon in the Agua Dulce community of Los Angeles County has destroyed some 25 structures, forced hundreds of evacuations and canceled classes for almost all the schools in the area.

In all, at least eleven major fires are burning from San Diego to Santa Barbara, fueled by what forecasters are calling unprecdented, hurricane-strength winds - at times up to 111 miles an hour.

Add that to single-digit humidity and unseasonably high temperatures and firefighters say it's the perfect storm.

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