High Winds Fuel Fires around California

June 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Firefighters across the state have their hands full as wildfires burn in five counties.The Laton Fire Department rushed to a mobile home fire at Fowler near the Kings River.

Firefighters found the home and surrounding brush on fire. There were also several explosions, so as a precaution, some nearby railroad tracks were shut down for about a half-hour until the source of the explosions could be found. Fire officials believe they were possibly caused by propane tanks near the mobile home.

The fire burned only about 2 to 3 acres, and no additional structures were burned. The mobile home was unoccupied, and was up for sale.

A fast moving wildfire gutted several homes in Stockton. The wind-driven fire destroyed or damaged over 50 homes. Firefighters had a hard time battling the fire because the wind blew embers onto other homes, igniting them.

Residents with garden hoses joined firefighters to prevent more damage to their homes. Several trees and many fences also burned. Residents sid they had little time to get away from the flames. "I had my hose in my hand and I was doing my and the tree went up and I went into the house to get these kids out and like I said it was just that quick," said one resident.

Stockton's mayor said the fire may have been one of the largest in the city's history.


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