The last few days have ben harrowing and exhausting for countless residents of wildfire-stricken San Diego county, where evacuations have been ordered, air support's been called in, and homes and business have been razed by the inferno. At least one fatality has been reported. The fire has scorched through a total of 6,000 acres, and California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in San Diego.
The cause of the multiple blazes has not yet been determined, and authorities are investigating what might have happened — one San Diego supervisor, Bill Horn, has speculated to press whether some fires could have been deliberately set, claiming the sudden eruption was "too much of a coincidence." Schools and universities in the region have been shuttered, and NASA has pointed out the smoke is even visible from space. Some flames are dozens of feet high.
California has recently suffered a severe drought, and the state is about to enter fire season; residents are bracing themselves for what could be a particularly tough year. An employee of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection told local station KPBX: "The fire is creating its own environment and sucking oxygen in."
Here are 15 striking and harrowing scenes from the San Diego wildfires...
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