California wildfires far

  California wildfires far from over

3 September 2009

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USA — Fire crews are finally getting a handle on the massive wildfires in Southern California.

The biggest of half a dozen fires still burning around the state is now 40 percent contained. But even with improvements, the fires are not close to being completely contained.

“It is of course heartbreaking to see the devastation and destruction this fire has cause,” says California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger has seen many wildfires in his time in office, but none this bad.

Schwarzenegger continues, “It’s horrible to lose your home, to lose your personal belongings to lose everything that you had collected. So we’re here basically to help people to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

Burt Voorhees lives in Big Tujunga and believes the homes here could have been saved.

Voorhees says, “To us in the canyon it appeared that the resources were going to rich areas in town and nothing here.”

Although he praised firefighters, he wants answers to why heavy fire equipment wasn’t brought in earlier.

“What I’m saying is that I think at some level, not the firefighters, some command decision got made not to put any resources into this, and we all now know that was a giant mistake. Any way you look at it, wrong decision,” says Voorhees.

Fire investigators are trying to figure out exactly what sparked the fire, saying it’s possible it was human-caused.

Fire officials say they expect to have the historic fire fully contained in about 2 weeks.

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