July 3, 2008

California Wildfires Intensifying

Wildfires raging in northern and southern California are overcoming firefighting attempts to control them and are threatening area populations, officials said.

Monterey County Office of Emergency Services spokesman Darby Marshall said the wildfire threatening the scenic Big Sur region had jumped a containment line created by firefighters and was continuing to ravage the area, the Los Angeles Times said Thursday.

It seems to be giving the fire guys conniption fits, Marshall said of the stubborn blaze. It's doing things they normally wouldn't expect.

The 11-day-old wildfire forced additional evacuations Wednesday after authorities and shut down a significant portion of the area's main road.

Meanwhile, another growing wildfire near the city of Goleta, Calif., has caused widespread blackouts in southern California and prompted calls for energy conservation in other portions of the state.

Santa Barbara County Fire Chief John Scherrei told the Times that firefighters could use immediate assistance in fighting the 1,200-acre blaze.

Could we use more resources? Absolutely! Scherrei told the newspaper. But California is stretched thin.