Thousands flee deadly S. California fires
Oct 22,2007 00:00 by UPI
LOS ANGELES -- Thousands of people around San Diego and Los Angeles had fled their homes Monday as wind-fanned wildfires turned deadly and frustrated firefighters.

Late Sunday, officials said one person had been killed by the fires, at least 17 others were injured and 39 houses had been completely burned, CNN reported.

The most troublesome of the fires was in Malibu, Calif., where more than 2,200 acres was scorched, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael Freeman said in a briefing. Gusts of up to 50 mph prompted flare-ups and the heat was so intense, boulders exploded, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Freeman said firefighters probably wouldn't be able to contain the Malibu fire before Tuesday or Wednesday. Malibu's landmark Castle Kashan and a Presbyterian church burned completely, the report said.

Another fire blackened more than 12,500 acres around Santa Clarita, about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, officials said.

Residents of 10,000 homes around Ramona, northeast of San Diego, were told to leave their homes late Sunday as a wildfire had burned 8,000 acres, was out of control and moving closer to their community, CNN said.

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