Winds Could Revive California Fires

As firefighters look close to bringing a week of devastating fires under control in Southern California, forecasters are warning there's a chance that moderate winds could return in the next week to whip up the blazes.

Because of that, one fire official said "it's a little premature to be celebrating." He said officials hope to control all the fires within a week, but that fierce, dry winds could send fire crews "off to the races again."

More than a dozen fires are now fully surrounded and seven other blazes are between 50 and 97 percent contained.

Meanwhile, nearly all evacuation orders have been lifted, allowing residents to go home, assess damage and decide what to do next.

The wildfires are blamed for seven deaths.

A week after a half million people fled Southern California's wildfires, shelters began closing and residents were figuring out their next steps as the threat of more fires loomed over the region.

The winds, which last week gusted up to 100 mph, pushed flames across more than 500,000 acres, destroying more than 2,000 homes and forcing thousands into emergency shelters in seven Southern California counties.

As of Sunday, the state Office of Emergency Services tallied 2,767 structures destroyed. The number included 2,013 homes, office spokeswoman Kim Oliver said.

With nearly all mandatory evacuation orders lifted, wildfire victims have begun assessing damage and trying to figure out where to go next.

In San Diego, the largest remaining shelter is at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where about 130 evacuees were living, some of them after losing homes.

Many came from other shelters, including high schools preparing to reopen on Monday and Qualcomm Stadium, which was closed by the city of San Diego on Friday to prepare for the Chargers' Sunday football game.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press

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